No. 23 Squadron RAAF
|No. 23 Squadron RAAF|
|Active||3 May 1937 – current|
|Role||Base operations and training|
|Part of||Combat Support Group|
|Garrison/HQ||RAAF Base Amberley|
No. 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force is a non-flying base operations and training squadron headquartered at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane, Queensland. The Squadron was formed in 1937 and saw action during World War II as a bomber squadron.
No. 23 Squadron was first formed on 3 May 1937 at RAAF Base Laverton as a Citizen Air Force unit equipped with Avro Ansons. The Squadron moved to RAAF Base Pearce in March 1938 and was renumbered No. 25 Squadron in January 1939. No. 23 Squadron reformed at RAAF Base Richmond in February 1939 and was equipped with CAC Wirraways and Lockheed Hudsons, began reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols off the east coast of New South Wales. The Squadron moved to RAAF Station Archerfield near Brisbane, Queensland in August 1940. Between August 1940 and June 1943 the Squadron conducted seaward patrols and escorted shipping in the Brisbane region. In May 1943 the Squadron was equipped with six P-39 Airacobra fighters.
In June 1943 No. 23 Squadron's role was changed to that of a dive bomber unit and the Squadron was reequipped with Vultee Vengeance aircraft. After a period of training the Squadron deployed to Nadzab in New Guinea in February 1944 and flew its first bombing missions on 11 February. It provided aerial support at Saidor to American ground forces. The Squadron was withdrawn to Australia and reduced to cadre status in March 1944, as the Vengeance was regarded as inferior to other aircraft which had become available to Allied forces.
No. 23 Squadron returned to operational status as a heavy bomber squadron in October 1944 after being reequipped with B-24 Liberator bombers. The Squadron deployed to Long Airfield in the Northern Territory in April 1945 and conducted bombing and anti-shipping missions over the Netherlands East Indies until the end of the war. Following the Japanese surrender the Squadron's B-24s were based at Balikpapan in Borneo and operated in the transport role, flying ex-Prisoners of War and other Australian personnel back to Australia. No. 23 Squadron returned to Australia in November 1945 and was based at RAAF Station Tocumwal until early 1948 when it moved to RAAF Base Amberley and was redesignated No. 6 Squadron.
No. 23 Squadron was reformed at Archerfield on 1 April 1948 as a Citizen Air Force squadron equipped with fighter and training aircraft. The Squadron ceased flying activities in June 1960 and assumed a ground training role for members of the RAAF reserve in southern Queensland. On 1 July 2010 changes to the structure of the Combat Support Group resulted in the combat support functions of No. 382 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (382ECSS) being integrated with No. 23 Squadron at RAAF Amberley and 382ECSS being disbanded.1
- Hawker Demon (May 1938 – January 1939)
- Avro Cadet (May 1938 – January 1939)
- Avro Anson (February 1940 – August 1940)
- CAC Wirraway (August 1940 – June 1943 and April 1948 – 1959)
- Lockheed Hudson (August 1940 – July 1942?)
- P-39 Airacobra (July? 1942 – June 1943?)
- Vultee Vengeance (June 1943 – July 1944?)
- Consolidated B-24 Liberator (October 1944? – February 1948)
- P-51 D Mustang (April 1948 – September 1955)
- de Havilland Tiger Moth (April 1948 – September 1955)
- de Havilland Vampire (September 1955 – ?)
- Gloster Meteor (October 1956 – June 1960)
- Stackpool, Andrew (5 August 2010). "Over To You Now". Air Force. p. 6. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- RAAF Museum 23 Squadron
- RAAF No. 23 Squadron Official Website
- Steve Eather (1995) Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Aerospace Publications.