Photography © Commonwealth of Australia


No 450 SQN went on to achieve further success assisting in the defeat of Rommel's Axis forces in the Western Desert at EI Alamein and Tunisia in North Africa, where they gained the name 'Desert Harassers'.

The squadron also fought in the Sicilian campaign, where their efforts assisted in saving Malta from total destruction; and Italian campaigns, including 'Operation Bowler' a dive bombing attack over Venice on 21 March 1945, which was to be the squadron's last major operation.

No 450 SQN was finally disbanded in Italy on 20 August 1945.

The 450 Squadron RAAF Association Inc. comprising veterans, widows, descendants and friends of the 450 will proudly celebrate their 68th Anniversary in November this year, having been formed in Italy, November 1943 by members of No. 450 SQN who vowed to maintain their friendship beyond the spoils of war.

No 3 SQN also shares a long and proud history in Australia’s aviation history, having participated in the liberation of Italy and Yugoslavia; invasion of Sicily; operations from the Butterworth Air Base; and Air Defence Operations out of Diego Garcia as part of the International Coalition against Terror.

RAAF Williamtown's No 3 SQN is the proud sister squadron of No 450 SQN. The two squadrons shared great success as they fought along side each other in the North Africa campaign during World War II.

Commanding Officer No 3 SQN, Wing Commander Terry van Haren, said

the two squadrons are among the most distinguished to have served on operations providing vital defence to Australia's national interests.

"The strong bonds formed 70 years ago, during a time of great conflict, are still very much alive today," Wing Commander Terry van Haren said.

"No 3 SQN is honoured to share in this auspicious occasion with No 450 SQN, all these years later."

No 450 SQN was formed at Williamtown, NSW, as one of the first Empire Air Training Scheme squadrons on 16 February 1941.

In June 1941, combined with the pilots and Hawker Hurricanes of 260 SQN RAF, they fought against the Vichy French in the Syrian Campaign. The squadron was later equipped with P40 Kittyhawk aircraft in December 1941.

The efforts of the ‘Desert Harassers’ will not be forgotten with time capsules installed at RAAF Williamtown 70 years to the day after No 450 Squadron embarked on the largest convoy to leave Australia during World War II.

No 450 SQN veterans, widows and Association patrons, along with No. 3 SQN members marked this significant occasion in Australia’s war and aviation history with a memorial service at the Base on 9 April.

A World War II Kittyhawk fighter conducted a flypast with a No 3 SQN F/A-18 Hornet during the service, where two time capsules were installed in the installed into the purpose built chambers of the recently restored, 50 year old sandstone memorial; one for the pilots and another for the ground crew of No. 450. Blessing of the time capsules was conducted by WGCDR Chaplain Peter Friend of RAAF Base Williamtown.

The Pilot's time capsule was installed by F/OFF Jack Curtis ret., and the Ground Crew's time capsule was installed by CPL Maurie Douglas ret., and LAC Allen Buckman ret., all veterans of No. 450 SQN.

Copyright © 450 Squadron RAAF Association Incorporated. ​All Rights Reserved.

450 Squadron RAAF Desert Harassers’

70th Anniversary of Departure 9 April 2011
450 Squadron RAAF Association Inc.