No. 463 Squadron (RAAF): Second World War

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No.463 Squadron (RAAF) was a Lancaster squadron that served with Bomber Command from 1943 to 1945.

The squadron was formed at Waddington on 25 November 1943 around a nucleus from C Flight of No.467 Squadron. It was equipped with the Avro Lancaster and joined No.5 Group, Bomber Command.

Avro Lancaster damaged over Dusselford, 22 April 1944
Avro Lancaster damaged over Dusselford, 22 April 1944

The squadron became operational on 26 November 1943 (taking part in a raid on Berlin - a pretty harsh first mission!) and for the rest of the war took part in the strategic bombing campaign, remaining at Waddington until after the end of the war in Europe.

During the attacks on Berlin over the winter of 1943-44 the squadron took part in fourteen of the raids, flying a total of 147 sorties and losing 15 aircraft at a loss ratio of 6.2% (more than twice their average for the war).

The squadron also often carried cameramen from the RAF Film Unit during raids. This sometimes included raids the rest of the squadron wasn't involved in, such as an attempted attack on the Tirpitz by Nos.9 and 617 Squadrons on 29 October 1944, and the succesful attack by the same squadrons on 12 November 1944 which caused the Tirpitz to capsize.

On the night of 25-26 April 1945 a Lancaster from the squadron, flown by Flying Officer A Cox, became the last Lancaster to be lost during the war, when it was forced to land in Sweden after a raid on an oil refinery in southern Norway. The entire (all-British) crew survived.

During its time with Bomber Command the squadron flew 2,525 sorties on 180 raids, losing 69 aircraft. At 2.7% this was by a narrow margin the highest loss rate amongst the Australian squadrons of Bomber Command, but it was only just above Nos.460 and 467 Squadrons. Another ten aircraft were lost in crashes. At the other extreme aircratt ED611 survived 113 missions with Nos.44 and 463 Squadrons, and wasn't struck off charge until 1947.

The squadron was disbanded on 21 September 1945.

November 1943-September 1945: Avro Lancaster I and III

November 1943-July 1945: Waddington
July-September 1945: Skellingthorpe

Squadron Codes: JO

Motto: Press on Regardless

Bomber Command



How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 May 2022), No. 463 Squadron (RAAF): Second World War,

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