Royal Australian Air Force

1939 - 1945

Many RAAF men were seconded to the RAF and many others joined the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) (BCATP) and ended up in over 200 different RAF Squadrons

The Royal Australian Air Force underwent a massive expansion during World War Two. By the end of the war there were 75 Australian squadrons in existence of which 15 were to fight solely in the European theatre. The Australian air effort also involved the Empire Air Training Scheme where thousands of Australians were trained for service in the RAF.

On 28th August 1939, three days before Germany invaded Poland, the RAAF possessed 82 Ansons, 54 Demons, 7 Wirraways and 21 Seagulls, together with 82 training aircraft.

These aircraft were organised into the 12 squadrons available for service. On 17 September the Australian Government offered six of these squadrons to Britain for service.

After Japan entered the war in December 1941 the Australian Government approved a plan (March 1942) to expand the Royal Australian Air Force to 72 Squadrons.