ADF Serials Newsletter
For those interested in Australian Military Aircraft History and Serials
In this Issue:
Editor’s blurb: Hi everyone. 2003 has been a successful year for the ADF Serials group and the website continues to grow at a rapid pace! Work continues on the index to the newsletter and all going well, this will be up on the site in January.
It is timely to thank all those who are involved with the website and who give generously of their time to assist others. The ADF Serials admin group give tremendous support to me in compiling the newsletter – it really is a joint effort. A big thanks to Gordon B (Gordy) whose P40 research has been a regular feature of the newsletter this year. Judging from the responses we get to each article, this research is long overdue.
Thank you to all those who contribute information, images, stories and feedback to the site. Your willingness to share your knowledge and to assist others is what researching is all about. If you have a pet topic that you would like printed, please send it in. We are always on the lookout for additional stories.
On behalf of the ADF Serials group I would like to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to hearing from you all in the New Year.
Point Cook Closure
As many of you are aware, the original RAAF Base at Point Cook is to be sold off probably within the next year. TheCommonwealth will retain ownership of a Heritage Precinct inclusive of the parade ground, Headquarters building, several married quarters, AFC Memorial, and RAAF Museum and it will still be an operating airfield. However, the majority of the base including the historic AFC WWI Southern Tarmac hangars and seaplane base, Officers Mess, Academy complex, RAAF Chapel, married quarters, and the entire airfield area, consisting of both sealed runways, grass runways and taxiways will be sold.
A steering committee "Save Point Cook" opposed to the changes has been formed. If you would like to find out more about the steering group or the proposed changes that will result in a large chunk of Australian aviation history disappearing, please visit the "Save Point Cook" website:http://www.pointcook.info/
Can you help updates
Plenty of information submitted on the Sea Venom crash:
Bob Livingstone went straight to a Stewart Wilson book (title not stated in email) and found the following info:
WZ909 c/n 12766 #987, later #865, delivered 02/56 Crashed into sea off NSW 05/59.
Greg Hyde checked his inform and concurred: the Venom was WZ909 that crashed into the sea off Ulladulla NSW on 20/05/1959. On 18/08/1988 a CSIRO research trawler snagged a large amount of components including u/c doors. Some time back the u/c doors were displayed at MOF Nowra but Greg is not sure that they are still on display.
For those who would like to know more, John Bennett sent us details of an article on Venoms written by him in the Australian Aviation OCT 95 magazine.
P40 over Zealandia
As usual, the P40 articles have attracted information with Garth O’Connell supplying the AWM negative number: 304956. Gordon B and Garth are currently swapping research on Patwing 10 PBY’s.
Many thanks to all who supplied information.
On 16 November 2003 ex-US Army UH-1 73-21763, one side painted US Army the other RAAF, painted as A2-767 went on display at the Dandenong RSL Club. Darren took the following image of the Iroquois in its new home.
P40E/E-1 Operations in Australia Part 5 V4
So we come to the story of the remnants of the 33rd PS (Prov) and the unlucky 13th PS (Prov). If you thought researching information on the first four Provisional Squadrons was hard enough, I found the amount of information for the last even more sparse. Thankfully the general history was there, and by some good luck and help, we will be able to tell you details that may have lain buried for over sixty-one years.
The situation in the Netherlands East Indies.
In Part Four I covered the story on Captain Floyd J. Pell and his fourteen P40E=s that had been diverted at Port Pirie, and diverted to Darwin on orders of General Barnes.
This was at the request of General George Brett, ABDA, to fulfil a request from to provide Convoy protection over the Darwin area where a joint 2/4th Pioneer Battalion 2nd AIF and 148th Field Artillery, US Army National Guard Battalion Troop convoy, was being assembled. These were for the airfield defences at Koepang Timor. This convoy, under escort of the USS Houston (Captain Rooks), was to leave early morning on the 15th February 1942.
As a post note, this convoy eventually returned when it became clear that the situation was all but lost and the Japanese combined seaborne and airborne Koepang invasion force landed at dawn on the 20th February 1942. Thus this Japanese action resulted in cutting off the Brereton Route to Java for the duration of the war.
The ABDA Command had by this time planned to avert a possible cut in the route, and appalled by the loss rate of ferrying them, decided sending the next P-40E reinforcements by sea.
As early as the 7th of the month, when the risk of its being cut at an early date were apparent, General Barnes was instructed to prepare for shipment of pursuit planes by sea. The USS Langley anchored at Darwin, under command of Commander R P McConnell, was therefore ordered to Fremantle on the 11th February 1942 to collect a shipment of fifty assembled P-40Es (33rd and 13th PS (Prov)) to be ferried to Tjilatjap Java. The USS Langley sailed from Darwin on the 17th February 1942, just two days prior to the air raid.
MS-5 Convoy assembly
It was intended that the USAT Mariposa and the USAT Holbrook be loaded with crated P-40Es and were to accompany the USS Langley, with assembled P-40Es, to Tjilatjap Java. However, given the risk, the USAT Mariposa was withdrawn and replaced by two Australian transports, the SS Katoomba and the SS Duntroon.
Another ship, the recently arrived USAT Sea Witch under command of Lieutenant-Commander Hatfield USNR, loaded with 27 P-40Es, accompanied the constituted MS-5 Convoy (designation code Melbourne to Singapore).
It left Melbourne on the evening of the 12th February 1942 at 21:30hrs, with the USS Phoenix providing escort to the convoy, its destination, Fremantle. When all of the ships eventually arrive at Fremantle there would be a combine load of 59 P-40Es fighters that would be sailing with the MS-5 Convoy.
As intended by General Barnes, USAAF, the diversion of the first flight of 15 33rd PS (Prov) P-40Es to Darwin on the 14th February 1942, would be replaced. The USAAF lacked trained pilots to man these additional P-40Es anyway, so he intended to fulfil the agreement of the establishment of a third RAAF P-40E Squadron for defence of Perth.
A total of 18 P-40Es (41-5734 to 5744 and 41-13521 to 13527) were therefore unloaded at Fremantle from this convoy for the RAAF. At present we are trying to confirm the ship these 18 are off.
I must point out that just prior to its departure from Fremantle, the collapsing situation in Java had the Americans thinking that its interests would be best served to abandon Java, placing a holding force in Australia and continue the fight from India. It was decided that the 51st Pursuit Group, 51st Air Base Group and the 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) be conveyed to Karachi, then part of India, to form the basis of air resistance against the Japanese and to re-open the Burma road supply route to China.
It was intended that the balance of the 27 crated P-40Es on the USAT SeaWitch is sent to India and the 32 assembled P-40Es on the USS Langley is sent to Java. Repeated requests by the Dutch Government and by ADBA command changed this plan before the convoy sailed.
Therefore the another 10 P-40E (crated) that had been transferred from the USAT Mariposa in Melbourne to the USAT Holbrook, which would then form the initial cadre of P-40Es destined for the 16th PS of the 51st Pursuit Group at Karachi, India.
The revised plan now would consist of 27 P-40Es on the USAT SeaWitch, and the 32 assembled P-40E on the USS Langley be sent to Java for re-equipping the hard pressed 17th Pursuit Squadron (Prov) USAAF and the RAF/NEIAF fighter squadrons.
This plan called for the USS Langley, with the USS Phoenix providing escort, to separate from MS-5 in the vicinity of the Cocos Island and head directly to Tjilitjap. This being the last remaining main port being reasonably spared from Japanese bombing up to this date. It did however lack an airfield. Thoughts of beaching the USS Langley and lowering the P-40Es on a beach to take-off from were considered, should the port be unavailable.
The resultant plan now would be the detachment from the convoy, both the USS Langley (on the 23rd February 1942) and the USAT Sea Witch (on the 25th February 1942) to sail there, unescorted and at best speed, with their cargo of fifty-nine much needed P-40Es. Thus date and destination was set and the ships proceeded to their fate.
The way north by sea is west by air
On 11th February 1942, the Squadron Commanders (Captain Floyd Pell and 1st Lieutenant Boyd "Buzz" Wagner) of 33rd PS (Prov.) and the 13th PS (Prov) received orders to fly fifty P-40's across the continent to Maylands Airport, Perth. There, they were to be towed along main road to Fremantle on the night of 21st -22nd February 1942 and loaded on the USS LANGLEY which would then sail for Java. The vanguard flight of fifteen was diverted at Port Pirie. Due to mechanical failures, only twelve went north to provide convoy fighter cover and the intended airfield defence at Koepang Timor, as told in Part Four. The 33rd and the 13th PS (Prov)’s on loading, came under command of 1st Lieutenant Gerald Keenan, Capt Pell’s second in command. 1st Lt Buzz Wagner was also ordered to remain in Australia and was attached thereafter, in charge of the 49th Pursuit Group’s pilot training program.
The three stranded 33rd PS (Prov) P-40Es that were left at Port Pirie to follow on later, 2nd Lt. Bryce Wilhite in #25, 2nd Lt. Borden in #179, and 2nd Lt. R E Pringree #180, were advised to continue on to Maylands for loading onto the USS Langley. 2nd Lt. Borden accompanied the balance of the 33rd PS (Prov) when it staged through Port Pirie on the 15th February 1942 to Maylands.
However, 2nd Lt. R E Pringree, who had completed his repairs to his P-40E #180 on the 19/02/42, took the aircraft up for a test flight but unfortunately died when this aircraft crashed near the base.
2nd Lt R E Pringree P-40E-CU 41-5369 #180 33rd PS (Prov) that crashed at Port Pirie 19/02/42
2nd Lt. Bryce Wilhite continued his repairs, but missed the loading onto the USS Langley and was instructed to return to Amberley. Following an uneventful flight, staying over night at Laverton, he arrived there on the 24th February 1942.
2nd Lt. Bryce Wilhite P-40E-CU 41-5436 #25 33rd PS (Prov) at Port Pirie 15/02/42
The fifth and final Provisional Squadron, the 13th PS (Prov) commenced its Trans-Australian ferry flight.
The experience level of these pilots was at a lower level then those that composed of the first 4 provisional squadrons as the pool of experienced pilots was drying up fast
This can be exemplified when on the 13th February 1942 when an impressed Amberley based USAAF Engineering Officer without any Pursuit experience, a 2nd Lt K.L.Glassburn, USAAF Service #0-425075 transiting in P40E FY41-5586 13th PS (Prov), landed and nose over at Williamtown, NSW.
Like some before him, he had previously crashed an aircraft only weeks before, when he crashed A24 Banshee FY41-15772 on take-off Amberley on the 26th January 1942 when testing it after assembly.
I’m still researching this particular flight and their number, but several 13th PS (Prov) P40E’s en route to Williamtown suffered damaged or force-landed due to severe weather near Grafton around the 14th February 1942.
With apparently two damaged at Williamtown and three damaged near Grafton, the 13th PS (Prov) was down to twenty P-40Es by the time it arrived over the runway threshold of Maylands Airport by the 17th of February 1942.
On the arrival, USAAF P-40E Warhawk FY41-5366 piloted by 2nd Lieutenant J.P. Martin (Air Reserve, Service No. 0-427557, was damaged on landing at Maylands airfield at Perth. After his starboard wing hit a 15 feet high windsock pole while landing, the aircraft struck the ground on its right wheel and skidded sideways. It has been said that it was loaded onto the USS Langley as spares, but I can definitely say that the damaged aircraft was repaired, actually at Maylands. Why? This particular P-40E was after being repaired, issued to the RAAF as A29-64 on the 18th March 1942. It was later flown to Pearce and was assigned to 77FSqn RAAF.
A29-64 later of 77Sqn RAAF April 1942 at Pearce WA
To make up the attrition, some three P-40Es of the forming 7th Pursuit Squadron, 49th Pursuit Group and their pilots were ordered to fly to Maylands from Bankstown. All three arrived at Maylands by the 21st February 1942, making a total of thirty-three. One of those P-40Es was not loaded and returned to Bankstown on the 23rd February 1942.
The reason was one of space, as the USS Langley (11050 Tons) was not an aircraft carrier anymore as initially converted in the early 1920s.
The decision to convert her as a seaplane tender in 1936 following the completion of a third purpose built carrier, the USS Ranger. The conversion was completed on the 26th February 1937 and she was reclassified as the AV-3 on 11th April 1937.
This meant that she now only had the aft two thirds of her original aircraft landing deck and a revised wheelhouse forward where the foredeck used to be. This meant that she was unable to fly off any aircraft whatsoever and the amount of space available permitted the placement of exactly thirty-two P-40Es.
At the outbreak of World War II, the USS Langley was anchored off Cavite, Philippine Islands under command of Commander R P McConnell USN. She departed on the 8th December 1941 and proceeded to Balikpapan, Borneo, and then on to Darwin, Australia, where she arrived on the 1st January 1942. Until 11th January 1942, the USS Langley assisted in running antisubmarine patrols and support PATWING 10 USN, out of Darwin with the RAAF. She was then assigned to American-British-Dutch-Australian forces assembling in Indonesia to challenge the Japanese thrust in that direction.
2nd Lt. Chipman P-40E-CU 41-5570 #11 16th PS at Karachi 31/03/42
The USS Langley listing 10 degrees port, photographed sinking 13.40hrs 27/02/42
The MS-5 convoy left Fremantle on the 22nd February 1942 with a total of 146 Officers and 2807 Enlisted Men of the USAAF, including both Provisional Squadrons, the 51st Pursuit Group, 51st Air Base Group and the 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) ground Squadrons.
Early in the morning 27th February 1942, the USS Langley rendezvoused with her antisubmarine screen, destroyers USS Whipple (DD-217) and USS Edsall (DD-219). At 1140hrs, nine twin-engine enemy bombers attacked her.
The first and second Japanese strikes were unsuccessful; but during the third the USS Langley took five hits.
Aircraft topside burst into flames, steering was impaired, and the ship took a 10-degree list to port.
Unable to negotiate the narrow mouth of Tjilatjap Harbour, USS Langley went dead in the water as inrushing water flooded her main motors. At 1332Hrs, the order to abandon ship was passed. The escorting destroyers fired nine 4-inch shells and two torpedoes into the old tender to insure her sinking. She went down about 75 miles south of Tjilatjap with a loss of sixteen crewmembers.
Of the embarked 33rd and 13th Pursuit Squadrons on the USS Langley with their 32 P-40E=s, only two Pilots were to survive the events following the sinking of that ship and the latter rescue and sinking of the Destroyer USS Edsall. 2Lt’s William P. Ackerman and Gerald J. Dix were wounded during the bombing and sinking of the USS Langley on the 27th February 1942. They were transferred to the USN Tanker Pecos, (under command of Lieutenant-Commander Abernethy) which was dive-bombed and sunk on the 1st March 1942 near the Cocos Islands.
They were then picked up by the USS Whipple (under command of Commander Crouch USN) and were returned to Fremantle along with other survivors of the Java campaign on the 5th March 1942.
The USAT Sea Witch did get through arriving at Tjilitjap on the 28th February 1942. Her contents were unloaded in record time and she sailed back to Fremantle on the tide of the 1st March 1942 with 40 USAAF survivors aboard.
Her cargo was unloaded, but that’s an interesting story by itself and to be told in another issue.
We will never know how these 59 P40E Aircraft could have faired in Java given the time left, or have been used better in the defence of Darwin or Port Moresby in March 1942. It is open to conjecture along with the in-experienced pilots; though with a sprinkling of Philippines veterans, of what they could have achieved had their numbers been delivered and sufficient numbers in the air over Java. What was apparent was that those aircraft were desperately needed by the RAAF to defend Darwin and other Australia territories. As we now know, the Japanese were soon to invade Papua New Guinea and threaten Port Moresby.
Anatomy of the SS Sea Witch
The United States Maritime Commission in 1937-38 designed the C2 types. They were all-purpose cargo ships with 5 holds. 173 were built between 1940 and 1945. The first C2's were 459 feet long, 63 feet broad, 40 feet depth, and 25-foot draft. Speed 15.5 knots. Later ships varied in size. The SS Sea Witch configuration was a C2 (19 ships built 6,100 Gross tons between 1939-41)
The first C2's completed were the motor vessel SS Donald McKay, launched June 1939 at the Sun Yards in Chester, Pennsylvania and the steam turbine Challenge built by Federal Shipbuilding and Dry-dock, Kearny, New Jersey. Many of the early C2's were named after Clipper ships, including Flying Cloud, Glory of the Seas, Sea Witch, and Westward Ho. (Up to the current time, I have only ascertained that the ship survived till 1945 with no further record of it in WW2)
SS Sea Witch mid- 1941 prior to Pearl Harbour
A plan of a latter C2-S-B1 type (6,230 Gross tons)
Thanks for contributions by Shane Johnston (33rdPS (Prov) Researcher), Buz Bushby (P40 Researcher), Bill Bartsch (Book Author) and others for their help.
A special "thanks" to Bob Livingstone for all his help in assisting the production of these articles
NZ Updates – Ivan
More images have been loaded onto the NZ Serials pages this month, which includes some recent images from the RNZAF. Thanks to Ivan for his hard work in maintaining this site and in obtaining permission to use these new images on our site.http://www.adf-serials.com/nz-serials/
Sea King Images
A recent addition to the ADF-Serials site is the addition of Sea King images taken of N16-118 during its recent service in Iraq. The ADF Serials admin group have made the decision to remove any identifying information re personnel from the image. The images can be viewed at:http://www.adf-serials.com/n16-118.shtml
Can you help?
Clive Phillips’ interest in C124 Globemasters started when as a youngster in Christchurch NZ, he observed the C124’s, C54 Rescuemasters and other US aircraft involved in the establishment of McMurdo and other Antarctic Stations during the International Geophysical Year in 1953.
Clive’s research now focuses on the use of the C124 Globemasters which were not only enormous for their time but whose service spanned 25 years before being replaced by the C5A Galaxy.
While Clive has photos, books, flight and ops manuals, engine overhaul and maintenance manuals, what he would really like is a listing of the 450 that were
manufactured by Douglas, along with delivery dates, operational use, disposal etc. The Boeing website has limited Douglas info.
The C124’s were used during the Korean War and were frequent visitors to Australian shores including Mascot, Cairns, Essendon and East Sale. If you can assist Clive with any details above including Oz visit dates, please use the feedback link
Gordon B has the following on C124’s:
date type registration operator fat.location
23-MAR-1951 Douglas C-124 49-0244 USAF 53 Atl. Ocean
23-MAY-1951 Douglas C-124 49-0232 USAF 0 USA A1
22-NOV-1952 Douglas C-124 51-0107 USAF 52 USA A1
20-DEC-1952 Douglas C-124 50-0100 USAF 86 USA A1
18-JUN-1953 Douglas C-124 51-0137 USAF 129 Japan A1
25-JUN-1954 Douglas C-124 51-7272 USAF 0 U1
02-JUL-1954 Douglas C-124 51-5210 USAF 0 USA U1
27-APR-1955 Douglas C-124 52-0991 USAF 0 Canada A1
15-MAY-1955 Douglas C-124 52-1088 USAF 0 U1
06-SEP-1955 Douglas C-124 50-0097 USAF 1 USA A1
20-NOV-1955 Douglas C-124 51-0149 USAF 0 U1
15-JAN-1956 Douglas C-124 52-1027 USAF 0 USA U1
02-MAR-1956 Douglas C-124 53-0021 USAF 0 Atl. Ocean
07-APR-1956 Douglas C-124 52-1078 USAF 3 USA A1
16-JUN-1956 Douglas C-124 51-5183 USAF 0 USA A1
16-AUG-1956 Douglas C-124 51-0156 USAF 1 El Salvador
21-AUG-1956 Douglas C-124 52-1005 USAF 3 USA A1
03-OCT-1956 Douglas C-124 53-0033 USAF 1 USA A1
28-NOV-1956 Douglas C-124 52-1015 USAF 0 Antarctica
27-JAN-1957 Douglas C-124 50-0088 USAF 0 USA A1
22-FEB-1957 Douglas C-124 51-0141 USAF 21 South Korea
02-APR-1957 Douglas C-124 51-5176 USAF 0 Canada A1
31-AUG-1957 Douglas C-124 52-1021 USAF 5 USA A1
04-SEP-1957 Douglas C-124 51-5173 USAF 0 USA A1
28-NOV-1957 Douglas C-124 52-0995 USAF 3 Turkey A1
27-MAR-1958 Douglas C-124 52-0981 USAF 15 USA A1
03-JUN-1958 Douglas C-124 51-0114 USAF 6 Japan A1
04-JUL-1958 Douglas C-124 50-0107 USAF 4 Pacific A1
02-SEP-1958 Douglas C-124 52-1081 USAF 19 USA A1
17-SEP-1958 Douglas C-124 51-0165 USAF 1 USA A1
16-OCT-1958 Douglas C-124 52-1017 USAF 7 Antarctica
17-NOV-1958 Douglas C-124 51-0162 USAF 0 USA U1
11-JAN-1959 Douglas C-124 50-0111 USAF 0 USA A1
31-MAR-1959 Douglas C-124 51-5201 USAF 0 Turkey A1
06-JUL-1959 Douglas C-124 49-0254 USAF 0 USA A1
18-APR-1960 Douglas C-124 52-1062 USAF 10 Canada A1
19-JUN-1960 Douglas C-124 52-0993 USAF 3 Brazil A1
09-JAN-1961 Douglas C-124 52-0969 USAF 0 Germany A1
24-MAY-1961 Douglas C-124 51-0174 USAF 22 USA A1
19-DEC-1961 Douglas C-124 49-0239 USAF 0 U1
24-MAY-1962 Douglas C-124 51-0147 USAF 7 Japan A1
02-JAN-1964 Douglas C-124 52-0968 USAF 8 Pacific A1
09-MAY-1964 Douglas C-124 52-1008 USAF 0 U1
27-AUG-1964 Douglas C-124 50-0114 USAF 0 USA U1
22-JAN-1965 Douglas C-124 52-1058 USAF 10 Greece A1
24-MAR-1965 Douglas C-124 52-1075 USAF 6 USA A1
11-OCT-1965 Douglas C-124 53-0010 USAF 0 USA O1
12-FEB-1966 Douglas C-124 52-0980 USAF 8 Spain A1
24-JUN-1967 Douglas C-124 50-0086 USAF 0 USA A1
07-AUG-1967 Douglas C-124 52-1012 USAF 0 Philippines
06-MAR-1968 Douglas C-124 51-5198 USAF 0 USA O1
28-JUL-1968 Douglas C-124 51-5178 USAF 10 Brazil A1
30-AUG-1968 Douglas C-124 52-1018 USAF 0 USA U1
11-SEP-1969 Douglas C-124 52-0951 USAF 0 USA O1
30-JUN-1970 Douglas C-124 53-0047 Air National Guard 0 USA
26-AUG-1970 Douglas C-124 52-1049 Air National Guard 7 USA
06-JUN-1971 Douglas C-124 51-0167 USAF 0 USA A1
02-MAY-1972 Douglas C-124 52-1055 Air National Guard 8
08-SEP-1972 Douglas C-124 51-0132 USAF 0 U1
01-OCT-1974 Douglas C-124 51-0075 USAF 0 USA O1
If you can add to this list, please use the feedback link.
205 Sqn RAF
Adrian Fryatt is looking for any surviving members of 205 Sqn RAF. If you can assist, please contact us via the feedback link.
Lockheed Ventura A59-13 (USAAF # 41-38064no service RAF# FD612)
Andy Kidd is researching this aircraft, which will shortly arrive at Orlando Sanford Airport, Florida for restoration (current DOA is 15-17 Dec 2003). He is interested in finding out more about its history and in particular:
The aircraft status card is almost illegible re the disposal of this aircraft. While Darren has been able to fill in some of the gaps, we welcome any information that you might have which we will pass onto Andy.
Mirage A3-1 crash at Avalon
Noel Fenton was on the ARDU Mirage trials team from the end of the first Mirage radio conversion course in September 1963 until October 1966. He is trying to locate some 'photo's of A3-1 at Avalon and some other's showing the 'crater' that A3-1 left when it impacted the ground.
Vultee Vengeance request
Fred Moreno has been asked to conduct an inventory of a partially disassembled Vultee Vengeance being stored here in the southwest corner of Western Australia. This is being done in preparation for putting it up for sale. While Fred is a mechanical engineer and a private pilot with a lot of knowledge on Cessnas, his specific knowledge of the Vengeance is lacking. Can anyone help Fred with the following questions:
Fred can be reached by snail mail:
P. O. Box 778
Shire of Denmark
or by using the feedback link.http://www.adf-serials.com/feedback/index.cgi
Tigers and Mirages – Williamtown 1978
The following photo, which was passed on to Grahame Higgs, was taken at Williamtown in March 1978. Does anyone know the serial of the slow poke bringing up the rear?
On this Day…
Dec 1903 First flight by Wright Brothers
1 Dec 1951 77 Sqn Meteors took part in the largest air-to-air battle fought by the RAAF during the Korean War. Over Sunchon, North Korea, twelve Meteors met between 40-50 Chinese Mig-15s. The fight precipitated a change from an air interception to a ground attack role for No. 77 Squadron.
2 Dec 1914 First Australian military aircraft despatched to war.
3 Dec 1954 77 Sqn returns to Australia aboard the HMAS Vengeance
7 Dec 1941 RAAF Sqns move to Timor. Pearl Harbour attacked .
8 Dec 1941 RAAF Hudsons from 1 Sqn attack Japanese ships off the coast of Malaya – 2 Hudsons lost.
15 Dec 83 First fatal accident for Roulettes when Macchis A7-46 (FLTLT Steve Carter) and A7-93 (FLTLT Graeme Brooks) collided in mid air. FLTLT Carter (Roulette 2) was killed instantly while FLTLT Brooks ejected from his aircraft but died of a cardiac arrest shortly after admission to Gippsland Base Hospital.
30 Dec 48 77 Sqn Mustang A68-802 flown by FLTLT R. Hill crashed into the sea near Iwakuni (Japan), after a possible in-flight structural failure during rocket firing practice.
Thank you to Dean and his aircrew losses research, the Australian War Memorial’s "This Month" and the RSL Diary for dates for this month’s On this Day segment- Jan
If you have something for the newsletter or would like to submit an article, query or image, please use the following link: