No. 466 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force was formed at Driffield in the United Kingdom on 10 October 1942. Although intended as an Australian squadron under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the majority of its personnel were originally British. The replacement of these men with Australians was a gradual process and it was only towards the end of the war that the squadron gained a dominant Australian character.
The squadron relocated to Leconfield on 27 December 1942. Equipped with Vickers Wellington medium bombers (pictured above) and forming part of 4 Group, Bomber Command, it flew its first operational mission on 13 January 1943. This mission involved laying mines along Germany’s North Sea coast, an activity that would become one of the mainstays of the squadron’s activities in ensuing months. The squadron’s primary operational focus, however, was the strategic bombing of Germany.

At the end of August 1943 the squadron withdrew from operations to re-equip with Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers. The squadron’s operations over Germany continued into 1945. With the strength of the German air force in rapid decline, an increasing number of missions were flown in daylight. 466 Squadron mounted its last bombing raid on ANZAC Day 1945 against the coastal defences on the German North Sea island of Wangerooge.

Flying Officer Joe Herman (RAAF), the captain of a 466 Sqn Halifax B.Mk.III, narrowly escaped death in a remarkable incident on 4 November 1944.[7][9][11][12] During a night mission over Germany, his aircraft (LV936, "HD-D"), was badly damaged by Flak. After ordering the crew to bail out, Herman was blown out of the plane, without a parachute. After falling a long way, possibly more than 3,000 metres, Herman fell onto the Halifax's mid-upper gunner, F/O John Vivash (RAAF), and grabbed one of his legs. Both men descended on one parachute, suffered minor injuries when landing and survived the war as prisoners of war. From a total crew of seven, only one other airman, Sgt H. W. Knott (RAF), survived. According to one source, at least three crew members were murdered after being captured.