Jefford, Wg., Cdr., C. G. Jefford.


Privately Printed, High Wycombe, 1st ed., 1995. 536 pp., numerous photo-ills., + some plans. D.j., 30 x 21cm. FINE. First formed in 1916, No 45 Squadron has had a colourful and varied career. Operating over France and Italy, No 45 Sqn claimed 316 victories, making it one of the most successful RFC/RAF fighter squadrons of the First World War, although this success had been dearly bought ; seventy-four men lost their lives in combat. No 45 was one of the mere handful of squadrons which constituted the RAF in the 1920’s and it was based in Egypt in the 1930’s. In June 1940 No 45 flew the first offensive mission of the North African campaign. Its Blenheims subsequently operated over Cyrenaica, Eritrea, Crete, Syria and Iran, sometimes sustaining heavy losses, before moving to Burma in early 1942 in a hopeless attempt to block the Japanese advance. During 1943 No 45 became one of only four RAF squadrons to fly the Vengeance dive bomber on operations. In 1944 the squadron was selected to introduce the Mosquito fighter-bomber into service in the tropics and, after suffering some early losses due to a previously undetected structural weakness, it hit its wartime peak in March 1945 when it flew a remarkable 350 sorties. During the Second World War No 45 was one of the few units which could claim to have confronted the Germans, the Italians, the Japanese and the Vichy French. After a period in Ceylon, No 45 became involved in the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and over the next twelve years its Beaufighters, Brigands, Hornets, Vampires, Venoms and Canberras flew well over 4,000 operational sorties against the Communist Terrorists. In the 1960s the squadron was heavily involved in Confrontation, the undeclared war with Indonesia. A superb, Privately Printed history.

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