No. 451 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force was
formed during World War II, 451
Squadron came into existence at Bankstown in New South Wales on February 12, 1941.
451 Squadron Spitfire fighters being serviced at a North
African airfield in early 1944
The squadrons motto
was Into the midst from above
under the Empire
Air Training Scheme the squadron became operational in Egypt on 1 July 1941.
The squadron at first flew
and Westland Lysander
utility aircraft, the
squadron was employed in an army co-operation role. It carried out
reconnaissance missions, directed artillery fire and engaged enemy
troops, vehicles and emplacements on the ground. 451 Squadron
continued operations in the Western
until January 1942
. In February the
squadron was relocated to Syria, during this
time the squadron was virtually in an inactive state following a
decision by the Australian Air Board not to allow 451 Squadron to
be converted to a fighter squadron.
In January 1943
the squadron moved to Egypt as part of the Nile
Delta defences and finally began to retrain as a fighter squadron.
During 1943 three "Tropicalised" Hawker
were trialled by the unit. In early 1944, 451 Squadron was re-equipped with Supermarine Spitfire fighters and
relocated to Corsica to assist
operation in Southern Europe.
squadron moved to Great
Britain in late 1944 and then onto Germany in 1945.
It was planned that the squadron would
form a long-term Australian
the occupation forces but sufficient volunteers could not be found
to make this a viable proposition. Thus, on 21 January 1946 the
During the war the squadron suffered 28 (18 Australian)
Australian War Memorial