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RAAF Form A.50

No. 2 Squadron, RAAF - February 1942

18 February 1942 - KOEPANG
During the night plans for the demolition of RAAF facilities were finalised with the AIF.
19 February 1942 - KOEPANG
At 0330 hours 6 Hudsons departed for DARWIN.
19 February 1942 - DARWIN
At 0730 hours 6 Hudsons arrived at DARWIN.
At approximately 1000 hours RAAF Station DARWIN was heavily raided by fighters, dive bombers and high level bombers, little or no warning was received. Approximately 4 Hudsons of No. 2 Squadron were destroyed and others damaged. The Squadron Headquarters in No. 13 Squadron Hangar was totally destroyed together with a large quantity of equipment publications etc. and all Unit records. There were no casualties amongst No. 2 Squadron personnel.
20 February 1942 - DARWIN
Two Hudsons were despatched to arrive KOEPANG at first light to evacuate other personnel. On arrival they found a strong Japanese convoy at KOEPANG and that the Japanese had already landed. The aircraft were forced to return to DARWIN. The Commanding Officer No. 2 Squadron, (Wing Commander F. HEADLAM) was ordered to proceed to DALY WATERS to Command that Base. It had been decided that further heavy raids on DARWIN were probable and that the majority of Nos. 2 and 13 Squadrons aircraft and personnel would be based at DALY WATERS. DARWIN was to be used as a forward base for aircraft required for immediate operations and a small ground party was maintained there. The Commanding Officer No. 13 Squadron remained at DARWIN to control operations.
20 February 1942 to 28 February 1942 - DALY WATERS
Facilities at this base were very poor, particularly for W/T, accommodation, food, water etc. Maintenance was most difficult. Many of the aircraft were damaged and there was a great lack of spares and essential operational equipment, such as parachutes, life saving jackets, microphones, maps, sykos and codes, navigational gear etc., the majority of which had been destroyed at DARWIN. In addition many of the men after being evacuated from the islands were in poor physical condition. At times the combined effors of Nos. 2 and 13 Squadrons could muster only 2 or 3 operationally serviceable aircraft.
This position was improved slowly by the arrival of replacement aircraft, fresh aircrews, equipment etc. At the end of the month the Commanding Officer No. 2 Squadron returned to DARWIN and Wing Commander S. de B. GRIFFITHS took command of DALY WATERS. DALY WATERS continued to be the base for major repairs and inspections of both Nos. 2 and 13 Squadrons.
During this period the Squadron operating with No. 13 Squadron, carried out several small scale bombing raids on DILLI and KOEPANG and also reconnaissance of the KOEPANG AREA.
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