Squadron (Australian) Royal Flying Corps
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Updated: 30 Sep 06
Formed: 19 Sep 1916, Point Cook Australia as 2 Sqn AFC
Renamed: 28 Dec 1916, South Carlton aerodrome by redesignation of 2 Sqn AFC
20 Jan 1918
Squadron was based at:
South Carlton :: Dec 1916 - Sep 1917
France :: Sep 1917 -
Avro 504 :: Dec 1916 - Jul 1917
BE-2e :: Dec 1916 - Jul 1917
RE-8 :: Jul 1917 - 20 Jan 1918
2 Sqn AFC was formed at Point Cook in Australia on 19 Sep 1916. After arrival from Point Cook in Victoria, Australia as 2 Sqn AFC, the sqn was reformed on 28 December 1916 at South Carlton as 69 (Australian) Squadron RFC and was subordinated to 23 Wing RFC. It was the first Australian sqn to arrive in Europe.
In September 1917 it moved to France as a corps reconnaissance unit and on 20 January 1918 was redesignated 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps.
The Sqn was trained at South Carlton on Avro 504 and BE-2e aircraft for 8 months before re-equipping to 3 flights of six RE-8. It then departed to Cambrai, France by Sep 1917. It undertook the unglamorous ‘Corps Reconnaissance’ role, mapping trench systems, artillery spotting and the close support of infantry.
On 20 January 1918 the unit was re-designated 3 Squadron AFC. In late June 1918 the squadron was involved in experiments in aerial supply methods for ground troops and in July contributed to noise diversion operations in connection with the battle of Hamel. The squadron also assisted Allied movements in the battle of Amiens by dropping smoke bombs and continued its reconnaissance duties during the Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line.
Confusingly, on 20 Jan 1918 the unit was finally designated 3 Squadron AFC
The squadron’s last offensive operations took place on 10 November 1918, the day before the signing of the Armistice.
The Sqn disbanded in Feb 1919 after providing an military air mail service from the end of the war.
During the its period of active service it suffered 23 fatal casualties, lost 11 aircraft and claimed to have destroyed 16 enemy aircraft in combat.
Sqn RAF history on RAF website
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