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Thread: 603 RAAF / 229 RAF in Malta, 1942

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    Default 603 RAAF / 229 RAF in Malta, 1942

    Hello all... I'm looking for clarification about the fate of 603 sqdn in Malta. It's often mentioned that "the remaining pilots" were absorbed by 229 sqdn August 1942, and whenever I read about this, it's sort of hinted that the 603 was basically "decimated" between its arrival (April 1942) and July. Yet, as per the book "Malta: the Spitfire Year 1942", of the 21 pilots from the 603 that arrived in Malta in 1942 (page 197), only 5 show up as "lost in the defense of Malta" (pages 665-666). A significant loss, yes, but hardly the "wipe-out" that one is lead to believe to have befallen the 603 (by comparison, the 249 sqdn lost 11 pilots between April - July 1942, yet it remained operational through the year and beyond). Besides, the 229 had "ceased to function" in April 1942... If it didn't "exist" in August 1942, how come it *absorbed* the "remaining pilots" of the 603...? Was this all just a "number change", from 603 into 229, or just a bureaucratic move (229 being RAF, and the 603 being RAAF, maybe it was more desirable for whatever reason to have a RAF instead of a RAAF sqdn)? Or perhaps the "pilot wipe-out" would relate to pilots "wounded" (as opposed to "killed")? Or perhaps the issue was the loss of aircraft (as opposed to loss of pilots)...? Any information to help me shed light on the extinction on the 603 sqdn is greatly appreciated!

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    Hello,

    Welcome Wyngs.

    Firstly, 603 Squadron was never, not at any stage, a RAAF squadron.

    l suggest you get hold of a copy of:

    'The Greatest Squadron of them All':The Definitive History of 603 Squadron (City of Edinburgh) Squadron. RAauxAF. Vol.II. 1941 to Date.
    Ross,David, Blanche,Bruce & Bill Simpson.
    London:Grub Street:2003.
    pp.149-50

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th October 2013 at 05:10.

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    Hello Col Bruggy... Thank you...!

    Yes, by RAAF I meant RAuxAF (as RAAF is the most common abreviation I've seen for the Royal Auxiliary Air Force), I reckon that RAAF is also the Royal Australian Air Force acronym, so, fair enough, I'll use RAuxAF for now on! :-)

    I did order the "Greatest Squadron of them All" via ebay a couple of days ago, it will be weeks because it arrives... Guess I should wait for the book instead of asking questions...! ;-)

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    Hi Wyngs

    In 1942 the RAuxAF did not exist the title 'Royal' was not conferred until 1946 so all RAuxAF (it has never been abbreviated officially as RAAF, that is Royal Australian Air Force, as Col as mentioned) in WW2 should be abbreviated as AAF.

    Malcolm

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    Thank you Malcolm, note taken! :-)

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