NO. 456 SQUADRON ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE, 1944.
A successful night-fighting crew of No. 456 Squadron RAAF seen at Ford, Sussex, when the Squadron was providing fighter defence over southern England during Operation OVERLORD. On the right stands the pilot, Flight Lieutenant R B Cowper, pilot and flight commander; on the left is his radar operator, Flying Officer Bill Watson. During the Normandy invasion they claimed four enemy aircraft shot down. Cowper was awarded a bar to his DFC in February 1945, and commanded 456 Squadron at the end of the war in Europe.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.