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No. 466 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- No. 466 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War -

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No. 466 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force

   No 466 Squadron RAAF was formed at Driffield on 10th October 1942. Although formed as an Australian squadron, it was primarily British, only gradually gaining its Australian character by the end of the war.

Part of 4 Group Bomber Command, it became operative with Wellington medium bombers in January 1943, laying mines on Germany's North Sea coastline and strategically bombing German targets. Re-equipped with Halifax heavy bombers in August 1943 it continued mine-laying and night raids over Europe until the D-Day landing where it targetted military sites in Normandy. No 466 continued with a combination ground forces support and strategic bombing into 1945. In May it transferred to Transport Command but never fully converted to its transport role. Instead it was being re-equipped with Liberator heavy bombers when it disbanded on the 26th of October 1945.

Between December 1942 and May 1945, No 466 flew 3,326 sorties against 269 targets; it lost 81 aircraft.

Airfields No. 466 Squadron flew from:

  • RAF Driffield, Yorkshire from the 15th of October 1942 (formed, 4 Group Bomber Command. Wellington II, Wellington X)
  • RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire from the 27th of December 1942 (Halifax III)
  • RAF Driffield from the 3rd June 1944 (Halifax VI)
  • RAF Driffield from 7th May 1945 (Transport Command)
  • RAF Bassingbourn from the 8th September 1945
  • disbanded 27th September 1945


29th May 1943 466 Squadron Wellington lost

14th Jun 1944 Aircraft Lost

16th Oct 1944 466 Squadron Halifax lost

9th Apr 1945 Halifax Lost

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served with

No. 466 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Barrow William. Sgt. (d.1st Mar 1943)
  • Bourke Patrick John. F/Sgt. (d.11th April 1944)
  • Large Leslie David. F/O.
  • Marlow Ronald.
  • Nicholls Thomas Archibald. LAC.
  • Scafe Charles Owen. Flt.Sgt.
  • Walker Leonard Arthur. F/Lt.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Ronald Marlow 50 Squadron.

My grandfather, Ronald Marlow, was a rear air gunner with 50 Squadron Lancaster Bomber and 466 Squadron (an Australian squadron) during the War. He flew many missions to Stuttgart, Hamburg the Rhine etc. He is alive and well and remains very patriotic to Bomber Command.

Carol Francis

F/Lt. Leonard Arthur Walker DFC. No 466 Squadron

My father's story is so amazing that he wrote a book about his war experiences that will be republished next year, hopefully for Anzac Day. The forward to his book says: "A gripping, true story of one man's harrowing and courageous experience as a WWII flyer with Bomber Command. Shot down over Germany on Christmas Eve 1944, his chances of survival were less than in the trenches of WWI. Between 1939-1945, 55,573 young Bomber Command Airmen sacrificed their lives in the war torn skies over Europe. This is the story of one, who eventually made it home."

Tiana Adair

Sgt. William Barrow 466 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (d.1st Mar 1943)

William Barrow died aged 20 years whilst serving with 466 Sqd. He was the Son of Thomas William P. and Hannah Barrow (nee Brown) of Jarrow

William is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

Vin Mullen

Flt.Sgt. Charles Owen Scafe 466 Sqd.

My Father Flight Sargent Charles Owen John Scafe was shot down over Germany in late December 2044. Prisoner of Stalag 4B, he was liberated the following April

Samantha Scafe

LAC. Thomas Archibald "Nick" Nicholls 466 Sqdn.

Leconfield Circa 1943 photograph by Tom Nicholls

Driffield 1942

Taking a break - Leconfield

Good luck mascot used by unknown 466 pilot

I often wondered why my mother called my dad Nick, when his name was Tom. The reason was that it was his nickname in the RAF during the war when they had first met. My dad was a ground crew mechanic in the RAF and worked with the RAAF Squadron 466 at both Driffield and Leconfield. He worked as an aircraft engineer for the rest of his life. He told me that he enjoyed going up for a 'spin' with the pilots when they weren't on missions - apparently it was customary (given the time) for pilots to offer mechanics a quick flight after they had been working on a problem engine. If they declined they would be told 'get back under the bonnet and take another look, when you're ready to go up then it's fixed'! When my mother heard about these 'spins' she made him a tiny bear, no bigger than a matchbox, as a good luck mascot. One of the pilots took a shine to it and borrowed it every time he went on a mission, he would sit it on the dashboard in the cockpit so it could 'see' where it was going. It must have brought him luck as the pilot returned the bear and himself safely home every time. My dad said he was the proud owner of the only bear that ever bombed the Nazis.

I'm afraid I don't know the names of anyone else in his war-time photographs. Sadly he passed away in 1994 and, as is often the case, I wished I'd asked him more about his war-time experiences because I don't even know the name of the pilot - but I still have the bear.

Lynda Nicholls

F/O. Leslie David Large DFC 466 Sqdn.

Leslie Large DFC served with Royal Australian Air Force in 466 Squadron.

Pauline Graves

F/Sgt. Patrick John Bourke 466 Sqdn. (d.11th April 1944)

Patrick Bourke was my uncle but died well before I was born in 1963. His grandparents, my maternal great grandparents emigrated to Australia from Clare county in Ireland. My mother, Patrick's sister, was only about five years old when Patrick died.

William Morgan

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