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RAAF Form A.50

No. 21 Squadron, RAAF - January 1942

1 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Work continued on the stripping of Buffalo aircraft in an endeavour to improve their performance to match enemy aircraft. No operations carried out this day. Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE flew new machine from SELETAR to SEMBAWANG.
2 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
No operations carried out. Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R., Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE, Flying Officer B. HOOD, practise a new formation; Sergeant PARSONS, H., acted as enemy aircraft.
3 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
First operation for the new year carried out when Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer B. HOOD, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE and Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R. carried out a Defensive Patrol over a convoy of seven ships escorted by five warships about 130 miles out. The patrol was successfully carried out, and no enemy aircraft were sighted. Pilot Officer J.S. ALFORD appointed Office i/c Unit Ground Defence following reports that airborne troops were being trained in Indo-China for possible use against MALAYA.
4 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
No operations carried out this day, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE and Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R. carried out armament and R/T. tests.
5 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
No operations carried out. Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER carried out armament tests.
6 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer H.V. MONTEFIORE, Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE and Flying Officer B. HOOD carried out another seaward convoy patrol. The convoy consisted of five convoyed ships escorted by six warships. They were intercepted about 80 miles out. Patrol successful - no enemy aircraft sighted.
Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN and Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD took off at approximately 1100 hours to carry out tactical reconnaissance of PORT DICKSON and DIN DINGS. An enemy convoy was sighted in the Bernan River. After refuelling at BATU PAHAT, they returned safely to SEMBAWANG. No enemy aircraft sighted.
7 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
An extensive Station Defence Exercise was held to test the efficiency of Station Defences against (i) Bombing, (ii) straffing, (iii) Paratroop and airborne landings. Squadron Leader HARPER (453 Squadron) Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD and Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE provided effective simulation of Dive Bombing and Straffing attacks. At 1740 hours Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer B. HOOD, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE and Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE and Sergeant PARSONS took off in company with six aircraft of No. 453 Squadron for KUALA LUMPUR, to carry out operations from the aerodrome at first light the following day. The formation was forced to return to SEMBAWANG owing to bad weather conditions.
8 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
The unit dispersal camp situated approximately 1½ miles from the aerodrome, in which all ranks are billeted in off duty hours is providing a splendid asset providing all ranks much needed relief from the continuous nervous strain imposed by domicile within the limits of the station.
Unit organisation has improved greatly since the return, and the standard of aircraft maintenance high, in light of the difficult circumstances obtaining.
Senior NCOs commenced tuition in bayonet fighting under Officers and NCOs of the KAPURTHALIA Infantry Regiment, to equip them as instructors to the remainder of the squadron.
9 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
At 1800 hours Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE, Flying Officer B. HOOD and Sergeant PARSONS, H., departed SEMBAWANG with six aircraft of No. 453 Squadron for KLUANG to carry out an offensive operation against a Northern enemy aerodrome on the 10th. Our aircraft landed in darkness at KLUANG.
10 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Our aircraft left KLUANG at dawn. On breaking through a ground mist at 500 feet, a Junkers '88' Reconnaissance aircraft was sighted. The formation was unable to intercept as the formation leader (Squadron Leader HARPER) had left his flaps down.
The operation was not completed owing to bad weather encountered, and the formation returned to SEMBAWANG.
Later in the day, Flying Officer H.V. MONTEFIORE and Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R., took off to carry out a tactical reconnaissance of the Selanger River - machines refuelled en route at BATU PAHAT. The reconnaissance was successfully carried out - no enemy aircraft were encountered.
11 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer H.V. MONTERFIORE, Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER and Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN took off at 1030 hours to provide top cover over KALLANG to aircraft of No. 453 Squadron, whilst the latter refuelled. No enemy encountered.
12 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flying Officer SPROULE and Sergeant HARRISON, G.T. took off in the morning from stand-by for interception of enemy aircraft over SINGAPORE. Enemy not sighted.
At approximately 1430 hours, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer B. HOOD, Flying Officer R.A. WALLACE and Sergeant HARRISON, G.T. took off from SEMBAWANG on an offensive patrol. On the return journey from KUANTAN and at approximately 1640 hours, two aircraft piloted by Flying Officer R.A. WALLACE and Sergeant HARRISON, G.T. respectively, collided in mid-air, both aircraft forced landing. Flying Officer R.A. WALLACE landed in the ocean at TENGORAH - 20 miles South of MERSING and 10 miles East of JAMALUANG (AIF HQ) It was later ascertained that Flying Officer R.A. WALLACE spent two days on the beach and was intercepted en route South by an AIF beach patrol, with which he struggled for give days to penetrate two miles of jungle. He was eventually returned to SINGAPORE by A/C of the Malay Volunteer Air Force, suffering from exhaustion, shock and minor injuries.
13 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Sergeant PARSON, H., Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER and Flying Officer B. HOOD took off in early morning to carry out a defensive seaward patrol over an incoming convoy. Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER and Flying Officer B. HOOD were forced to return shortly after take-off through aircraft unserviceability. The formation sighted the convoy at first light, eighty miles from sea. Challenges were flashed from all directions before the formation was recognised. The patrol was carried out without untoward incident or sight of enemy aircraft.
Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R., Flying Officer H.V. MONTEFIORE, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE, Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER and Flying Officer B. HOOD carried out a further patrol over this convoy later in the morning. Aprroaching SINGAPORE the convoy split, half making towards the Naval Base and the other half towards KEPPEL HARBOUR. As the ships approached the boom in the JOHORE STRAITS, one hundred enemy aircraft were reported to be approaching. The weather had been deteriorating closed in, and the enemy made no attempt to attack the convoy. The weather for the ensuing 24 hours transpired to be almost the worst since the unit arrived in MALAYA and undoubtedly saved the reinforcements of personnel and aircraft which arrived with the convoy. Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD, Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE and Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R., took off from SEMBAWANG to intercept the enemy aircraft referred to above. Enemy aircraft were not sighted and the patrol was forced to break up by the weather conditions. Flight Lieutenant KIRKMAN, Sergeant CHAPMAN and Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD landed at TENGAH drome, whilst Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE made a landing on the unserviceable drome at SEMBAWANG.
14 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Bad weather continued. Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE and Sergeant PARSONS, H., took off on an early morning tactical reconnaissance of KUANTAN. Thirty Navy '0' fighters were sighted on the ground, and a few in the air over KUANTAN aerodrome. Low clouds provided excellent cover for the reconnaissance. Both aircraft returned safely.
No news yet to hand from MERSING concerning the fate of Flying Officer WALLACE and Sergeant HARRISON who crashed in that vicinity of the 12/1/42. As no telephone communication exists between MERSING and SINGAPORE, news is expected by despatch rider.
15 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
The bad weather of the past two days has now cleared up. Flying Officers G.M. SHEPPARD and B. HOOD took off on a tactical reconnaissance of SEREMBAN and GEMAS. A large convoy of motor vehicles was sighted and straffed on the Gemas Road. A very large formation of enemy bombers heading South was detected, otherwise no other enemy aircraft were encountered. Both aircraft returned safely.
Later in the morning, Flight Lieutenant R.A.KIRKMAN and Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R. carried out a tactical reconnaissance on PORT DICKSON. A small convoy of enemy shipping was sighted. In the afternoon six Hudsons and three Blenheim Bombers, with twelve Buffalos (six No. 21 Squadron and six No. 453 Squadron) as top cover and escort took off to bomb the convoy sighted at PORT DICKSON in the morning. The target was not located, and on return, our aircraft were forced to land at TENGAH as SEMBAWANG had become unserviceable following further heavy rains. These machines were flown from TENGAH to SEMBAWANG late the same afternoon.
News received from MERSING that Flying Officer R.H. WALLACE was safe with a patrol of AIF at MERSING, having been found in a state of exhaustion and suffering slight injuries following two days in the jungle after the crash of January the 12th. Much concern is felt at the lack of news regarding Sergeant HARRISON.
16 January 1942 - SEMBAWANG
Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Sergeant CHAPMAN, N.R., Flying Officer H.V. MONTEFIORE, Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER and Flying Officer B. HOOD took off at dawn to carry out a straffing raid on M.T. convoy along the Tampin-Gemas Road. The raid was very successful.
In the early afternoon, Squadron Leader F.H. WILLIAMS, Sergeant PARSONS, H., Flight Lieutenant R.A. KIRKMAN, Flying Officer B. HOOD, Flying Officer J.B. HOOPER, Flying Officer H.V. MONTEFIORE, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD and Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE provided close escort to six Glen Martins in a bombing raid on the M.T. convoy on the Gemas Road. On the flight to the target, very accurate Ac-Ac was encountered from an AIF unit at SEGAMAT. Fortunately no damage was sustained to aircraft and firing ceased immediately the recognition signals were given. From this flight, Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD engaged a Japanese reconnaissance machine. He scored several hits but could not press home the attack as he was acting as escort. After the bombing of the transport and Gemas Railway Station had been carried out, the bombers were escorted to a safe range of SEMBAWANG, our aircraft returning to straff the convoy. Considerable Ac-Ac resistance was met with during this attack and most of the aircraft were badly holed, although no casualties were suffered.
In the afternoon (late) Flying Officer G.M. SHEPPARD and Flying Officer D.M. SPROULE and Sergeant PARSONS, H. and another pilot of No. 453 Squadron carried out a tactical reconnaissance and an offensive sweep over MALACCA. Attacks were made on barges and shipping. Four barges were left in a sinking condition, whilst one 200 ton steamer and several launches were considerably damaged. All aircraft returned safely at dusk.
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