Researchers

Follow the below link to the National Archives of Australia official "458 Operations Record Book" (822 pages)

  • 1941 Pages 1-43
  • 1942 Pages 44-81
  • 1943 Pages 82-357
  • 1944 Pages 358-736
  • 1945 Pages 737-822

National Archives of Australia - 458 RAAF Squadron Operations Record Book  (type in: 458 Unit History in the search line, then click on the Digitised item)


The Official History of the Squadron in hardcover

The must read for researchers, and all for that matter, is the OPUS MAGNUM of author Peter Alexander CMG, OBE, OAM, with assistance from Peter Pettit "We Find and Destroy"


Feature article:  ' The destroyers Story of 458 Squadron, RAAF', by HERMES II 

Contained in this article is a TRIBUTE to the Squadron by RAF Air Marshall Sir Geoffrey Tuttle, KBE, CB, DVC, DCAS (written in 1958):

"FIFTEEN years ago I was lucky enough to have No. 458 Squadron under my command in North Africa. I have never been so impressed with any unit before or since. We were all engaged in finding and destroying enemy ships at a time when the enemy had begun to realize how good the opposition was . . . No. 458 Squadron was one of the main reasons why my Wing was taken off operations – the enemy ran out of ships!"

 This six page article/story appears in the magazine, Aircraft Illustrated, October 1974


Work is underway to preserve an important piece of military history. It's one of two surviving Wellington Bombers, a stable mate of planes that played a vital role in the Second World War. The Wimpy has been transported from London to the RAF Museum's conservation centre in Shropshire, where specialists are now painstakingly working to return it to its former glory...........

                                 

............. also the very one used in the making of the movie "The Dambusters" !

 

In addition to the video see the Virtual Tours of the Wellington at the UK Brooklands Museum website. There is Wellington 'R' for Robert, Wellington #1, Wellington #2, Wellington #3, Wellington #4 and Wellington #5 at the weblink.


Feature articles: number 2 and number 3:

 

Read about the synopsis of the Squadron and the specifications of the Vickers Wellington


Other useful resources:

Second World War Official Histories are listed at the Australian War Memorial website histories page.

The official history of Australia's involvement in the Second World War represents one of the longest and largest historical endeavours that Australia has ever seen. The enterprise began in January 1943 with the appointment of Gavin Long as General Editor. The 22 volumes, written by 14 authors, were published by the Memorial over a 25-year period between 1952 and 1977.

458 Squadron is mentioned numerous times in SERIES 3 AIR: volume III and volume IV. These were authored by John Herington. These two pdf files list the table of contents of each volume. All documents are available to download/view at the AWM Volume III and Volume IV webpages. Note: after opening a particular chapter, 458 Squadron references can simply be found by typing 458 into the 'Find' box on the pdf file menu. Victoria Flight's Historian, Peter Hedgcock (with assistance from George Ward, Historian at the Bayswater RSL) has put together a 13 page summary of the 458 references in Volume III.

Another publication is RAAF SAGA written in 1944:


Cockpit Drills and Handling Notes

 

This 75 year old document describes Cockpit Drills and Handling for the Wellington Bomber. It has a well drawn sketch of the Wimpy (Wellington), nicely done by Pilot Officer Roy Gardiner (service #419179).  There are further drills described in Roy's Flying Log Book (selected pages), including dinghy drills and a schematic of the Wellington's fuel system. There is also an Emergency Parachute drill.