No 23 Squadron History


Equipped with Avro Ansons, No 23 Squadron formed as a Citizen Air Force unit at Laverton, Victoria on 3 May 1937 and was equipped with six Hawker Demon aircraft. On 10 March 1938 the unit transferred to Pearce, Western Australia, where it was renamed No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron on 1 January 1939. The Squadron was reformed on 6 February, with Avro Anson aircraft, stationed briefly at Richmond, New South Wales prior to relocation to Archerfield, Queensland on 31 August 1939. Soon after the outbreak of World War II, the Squadron was re-equipped with Wirraway aircraft, used mainly for operational training.


23 Squadron was equipped with Lockheed Hunson bombers on 17 June 1941 giving the Squadron a duel capability. In May 1943, the Squadron received an allocation of P-39 Airacobra fighters.

By June the Squadron again re-equipped, this time with Vultee Vengeance dive-bombers. After a period of aircraft familiarisation, the Unit began combat operations in February 1944, when the Vengeances struck targets around Saidor in support of American ground forces.

No 23 Squadron Liberators deployed to the Northern Territory in April 1945, and from here the Squadron carried out reconnaissance and anti-shipping operations until the end of the War.

On 10 May 1945, a very successful strike was conducted when six Liberators struck the Flores Islands, destroying and a number of vessels and extensively damaging Japanese facilities. Another successful raid occurred on 2 June when the Liberators destroyed four camouflaged Japanese aircraft at Cape Chater airfield on Timor.

After Japan's surrender the Squadron participated in supply drops to Allied POWs still in Japanese hands before evacuating these POWs to Australia.

In April 1948, No 23 Squadron reformed as a Citizen Air Force squadron, providing support for Permanent Air Force activities in the Brisbane region.


A restructure of the Air Force's Reserves in 2006 enhanced the Squadron's ability to respond to the needs of the Air Force, and posted Reserve members directly to permanent units, providing a more integrated workforce.


On 1 July 2010, No 23 (City of Brisbane) Squadron was transferred to Combat Support Group and is now responsible for Fixed Base Management, with a strength of approximately 70 RAAF Active Reserve and 100 Permanent Air Force personnel employed in a diverse range of fields.

Read more about 23SQN

Australian War Memorial 23 Squadron historical information

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