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No. 463 Squadron
No 463 Squadron RCAF was formed from C Flight of No 467 Squadron at Waddington on the 25th November 1943. It was equipped with Lancaster heavy bombers and formed part of 5 Group of RAF Bomber Command.
It began operations with night raids on Germany and was heavily engaged in the battles of Berlin and the Ruhr, and raided German sites that assembled and launched V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets. Before D-Day it switched to military target in Normandy, attacking German artillery batteries at Pointe du Hoc covering Omaha Beach. Raids supporting the ground campaign continued throughout June and into July 1944. No 463 also operated three modified Lancasters for the RAF film unit which recorded bombing raids and their results. Raids against Germany continued until the end of the war, the squadron's last sortie on ANZAC Day 1945.
No 463 sustained the highest loss rate of any of the Australian bomber squadrons, losing 546 aircrew and 78 aircraft in 2,525 sorties over 17 months of operations.
No 463 had started to repatriate Allied prisoners of war to Britain before the end of the war, continuing in this role after the war in Europe ended. It relocated to Skellingthorpe in early July 1945, in preparation for joining Tiger Force and the strategic bombing of Japan. The war in the Pacific ended before No 463 was deployed and the squadron was disbanded on the 25th of September 1945.
Airfields No. 463 Squadron flew from:
- RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire from the 25th November 1943 (formed, Group 5 Bomber Command. Lancaster I, Lancaster III)
- RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire from the 3rd of July 1945
- disbanded 25th September 1945
List of those who served with No. 463 Squadron during The Second World War
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