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450 (R.A.A.F.) SquadronPrint Page Print this page

02-April-2011
02-April-2011

Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans

The Plaque commemorates the personnel who served in the 450 Squadron RAAF during World War Two. The plaque location is indicated by a red poppy in the second image. 

450 Squadron, nicknamed the "Desert Harassers", was one of the most famous Royal Australian Air Force squadrons of the Second World War. Its nickname was derived from the taunts of the German propaganda broadcaster "Lord Haw Haw" who, during the squadron's operations in the Western Desert branded it a band of "Australian mercenaries whose harassing tactics were easily beaten off by the Luftwaffe".

Raised under "Article XV" of the Empire Air Training Scheme, 450 Squadron came into existence at Williamtown in New South Wales on 16 February 1941. It was the first of the "Article XV" squadrons to be formed and initially it consisted only of ground crew. After arriving in the Middle East in May 1941 it was combined with the pilots and Hawker Hurricanes of 260 Squadron, Royal Air Force, to form an operational squadron. This combined squadron flew predominantly ground-attack missions during the Syrian campaign of June-July 1941.

In August 1941, 260 Squadron's ground crew arrived from Britain, and 450 Squadron regained its original identity. Awaiting the arrival of its own pilots and aircraft, it moved to Egypt in October and began operating as an advanced Repair and Service Unit. On 18 December, the squadron's first aircraft - Curtis P-40 Kittyhawks - began arriving allowing the squadron to reform as a fighter squadron.

450 Squadron commenced operations on 20 February 1942 and remained active for the rest of the war, taking part in the campaigns in the Western Desert, which spanned Egypt and Libya (February 1942 - February 1943), Tunisia (February - May 1943), Sicily (July - August 1943) and Italy (August 1943 - May 1945). Although designated a fighter squadron, its principal role was ground-attack in close support of the land forces. The squadron was disbanded at Lavariano on 20 August 1945. During the war, it had lost 63 personnel killed in action, of whom 49 were Australian.

 

Location

Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280353
Long: 149.147722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 1st March, 2003
Front Inscription

Syria                      Egypt 
El Alamein           Libya  
Sicily                      Italy

450 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron
      1941 - 1945
The Desert Harassers
Dedicated To Those Who Served And Those Who Died

 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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