No. 462 Squadron has marked the 78th anniversary of Bomber Command - an enduring strategic bombing campaign against Germany during World War II.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, a small ceremony was held at the Air Force Memorial in Adelaide today.
“This anniversary is very important for the squadron and under normal circumstances all members would be involved in the parade,” Commanding Officer No. 462 Squadron Wing Commander David Clyde said.
“It’s an honour to be able to connect with several Bomber Command veterans, including No. 462 Squadron aircrew who live locally and are still part of the squadron.
“We recognise their remarkable achievements and remember the supreme sacrifice of the Bomber Command members who lost their lives over the campaign.
“As the Commanding Officer of No. 462 Squadron, it is an honour and privilege to lead a unit with such an incredible legacy.”
No. 462 Squadron has a rich history. It became part of the No.100 group of Bomber Command that was responsible for counter-measures and jamming enemy radars.
Squadron Warrant Officer Darren Rhodes said the squadron’s Halifax aircraft were modified with electronic jamming equipment, which would interfere with German night fighter radio and ground based radars.
“Aluminium strips were dropped by the bombers and used to great effect to confuse enemy radars," Squadron Warrant Officer Rhodes said.
“This would give the impression the force was much larger and was used as a diversion tactic so the true bombing target could be reached with little resistance.
Today the No. 462 Squadron patch is a continual reminder of its story.
“Its three vertical yellow stripes that were located on the Halifax Bomber tail and the letter and number Z5 on the body of the aircraft make it easily identifiable as an aircraft used by No. 462 Squadron,” Squadron Warrant Officer Rhodes said.
“These distinguishing markers are a reminder to the squadron of its historical links and significant operational achievements.”
Eight Royal Australian Air Force squadrons and about 10,000 Australian airmen served with Bomber Command in Australian and composite squadrons. Of those, just over one-third were killed.
Bomber Command units completed more than 364,500 operational sorties and dropped more than 1,030,500 tons of bombs.