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No.456 Squadron (RAAF) was a night fighter squadron that began as a defensive squadron over the Irish Sea, then flew intruder missions over France, defended the D-Day armies in the months before the invasion, took on the V-1 flying bombs, and ended the war supporting Bomber Command.
The squadron was formed at RAF Valley on Anglesey on 30 June 1941 and was equipped with Defiant night fighters. The squadron became operational on 5 September 1941 and was used to fly defensive patrols over the Irish Sea. At the same time it began to convert to the Beaufighter, with the switch being completed in November 1941. On 31 December 1942 the first two Mosquito IIs were delivered, and the squadron was fully equipped with the new type in March 1943.
In the same month the squadron moved to Middle Wallop, from where it began to fly intruder patrols over France, and took part in sweeps over the coastline of the Bay of Biscay in an attempt to prevent German fighters attacking Coastal Command's anti-submarine aircraft operating further out in the Bay.
In February 1944 the squadron moved to Ford, from where it flew defensive patrols over the concentration areas for the Allied armies preparing for the D-Day invasions, with the aim of preventing the Germans discovering where the armies were based. The squadron was also used against the V-1 flying bombs when they first appeared.
In December 1944 the squadron moved to Church Fenton in Yorkshire from where it defended Bomber Command bases against possible German intruders.
In March 1945 the squadron moved to East Anglia, and spent what was left of the war flying bomber support missions over Germany.
The squadron was disbanded on 15 June 1945.
June-November 1941: Boulton Paul Defiant I
September 1941-January 1943: Bristol Beaufighter II
July 1942-March 1943: Bristol Beaufighter VI
January 1943-February 1944: de Havilland Mosquito II
July-October 1943: de Havilland Mosquito VI
February 1944-February 1945: de Havilland Mosquito XVII
December 1944-June 1945: de Havilland Mosquito 30
June 1941-March 1943: Valley
March 1943: Detachment to Colerne
March-August 1943: Middle Wallop
August-November 1943: Colerne
November 1943-February 1944: Fairwood Common
February-December 1944: Ford
December 1944-March 1945: Church Fenton
March-June 1945: Bradwell Bay
Squadron Codes: PZ (Defiant), RX (Beaufighter, Mosquito)
-6 June 1944-: No.11 Group, Air Defence of Great Britain