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RAAF Form A.50

No. 87 Squadron, RAAF - January 1945

1 January 1945 to 31 January 1945 - COOMALIE
STRENGTH:
As at 31st January, 1945.
Officers. 31
Airmen. 169 and 49 attached.
200 and 49 attached. Total. 249.

POSTINGS:
F/O K.A. YUILLE. (4586) Ops Officer from 2 RPP arrived 9th January, 1945.
F/Lt. J.D. FELSTEAD. (257109) Medical. from 31 SQDN. arrived 12th January, 1945.
F/Lt. R.S. TIMBURY. (403835) Pilot. departed to RAAF Stn. DARWIN on attachment to undergo No. 2 Fire Tender and Fire Fighting Course, 14th January, '45.
F/O R.L. RUTTER. (129863) A&SD. Adjutant. from 2 RPP arrived 17th January, '45.
F/O G.C. HENRY. (413715) Pilot. from 2 RPP arrived 17th January, 1945.
P/O J.C. JORDAN. (418505) Nav. W. from 2 RPP arrived 17th January, 1945.
S/Ldr. GILLESPIE. (407576) Pilot. from 2 RPP arrived 17th January, 1945.
P/O F.A. HAYMES. (438623) Nav. W. from 2 RPP arrived 17th January, 1945.
F/Lt. Mc.K. CAREY. (267262) Medical. from 1 MRS arrived 25th January, 1945.
F/Lt. J.B. FELSTEAD. (257109) Medical. departed 1 P.D. 27th January, 1945.
P/O D.H. KING. (431361) Nav. departed on attachment for 2 RPP to undergo No. 2 P&RT Course, 29th January, 1945.

FLYING TIMES :
Mosquito : 174.35
Wirraway : 16.55
Total : 191.30

OPERATIONS :
Weather conditions have, as in the previous month, greatly impeded the success of our operational flying. Whilst the weather has been adverse the number of sorties flown have been more than double those flown in the previous month. In all eighteen sorties have been attempted but of those only three have been completely succesful. Seven sorties were partially successful; six owing to cloud were unable to obtain photographs of all targets and one due to failure of one camera over target. Of the remaining eight sorties three returned due to motor trouble, three due to severe frontal activity en route to targets; and two due to total cloud coverage on all targets.
Targets again covered an extensive area involving long flying hours in most cases, and the staging points of Truscott and Broome were used to bring targets within range. Trips were made to the following targets:-
Two trips to SOUTH CELEBES, two to LOEMBOK and SAKALA ISLANDS, two to TANIMBAR and KAI ISLANDS, two to TIMOR and adjacent islands, one to SOUTH EASTERN BORNEO, and two to JAVA. Of the remaining trips projected but unsuccessful, one was to have been to the CELEBES, two to LOEMBOK and SAKALA ISLANDS, two to SOUTH EASTERN BORNEO and two to JAVA.
JAVA trips again proved disappointingly unsuccessful due to weather conditions only one sortie being partially successful in obtaining photographs of two targets only.
Enemy opposition was encountered only once during the months activities that being experienced at BIMA, the bursts being reported as slight heavy, correct for height but trailing.
Nil interception was experienced.
Our other flying activities were limited to local and travel flights, local photography and familiarisation for new crews. Two ferry flights to WAGGA were successfully completed - one in a Wirraway and the other a Beaufighter.
V/HF was used for the first time in these aircraft and was found satisfacory.

AIRCRAFT.
Our Mosquito aircraft serviceability (55%) has been more satisfactory than that of last month. Unserviceability has again been mainly due to our inability to obtain A.O.G. spares. A52-6 has remained unserviceable the entire month waiting for A.O.G. spares and it has been robbed of parts to keep the remainder of the aircraft serviceable. All aircraft, with the exception of A52-6, have shared in the operational commitments, the bulk of them being completed in A52-9. Much valuable information in clearing up many minor troubles, experienced in serviceing of aircraft and inspections, has been gained by a visit of the De Havilland Representatives. A52-2 has been allotted to 2 AD for complete stripping.
Wirraway serviceability (88%) has been satisfactory. Aircraft have been used for training, travel flights, and local photography. A20-178 has been issued off to 4 RSU for repair after crash landing on 17th January 1945 and A20-605 was issued off to Clyde Engineering Co. for complete overhaul. A20-572 has been added to our strength in place of A20-605.

TRANSPORT.
Despite the fact that two vehicles are off the road, due solely to the lack of tyres, the section functioned satisfactorily during the month. Repeated demands for the supply of tyres and tubes have been unsuccessful and it appears that these two vehicles are likely to remain unserviceable for some considerable time. With routine inspections now due, it is probable that difficulty will be experienced this month in giving satisfactory service. A new fire tender arrived on the Unit during the month.

EQUIPMENT.
Serviceability was not satisfactory during the month owing to the inability of the Equipment Section to obtain the requisite spares. All necessary hastening action has been taken by the section to the various sources of supply without success. With advent, in the near future, of new aircraft of slightly different design and power units, it would seem that serviceability is going to suffer badly unless a more prompt reply to demands is not made.

PHOTOGRAPHY.
Twelve Photographic Flights of an operational nature were competed during the month. 2296 negatives were produced, from which 2865 prints were made.
A total of 3115 prints were made of target maps and non-operational subjects.

TRAINING.
Training has been restricted to familiarisation and checking off of new crews, and local photography.

WELFARE.
Twelve airmen have made application this month to do Correspondance Courses. This increase is probably brought about by; Firstly: The co-operation of P/O Tuottes, Education Officer. Secondly : By including full particulars of courses available etc. on Wall Newspaper.
A Discussion Group was formed on 30th Jan. '45. The attendance at the first was fourteen. The topic discussed was "Post War Housing".
Sports: The football team has continued to play weekly in the Association Matches. Airmen are given every encouragement to practise.
The attraction of having two first class boxers on the unit has induced many personnel to take an active part in this sport.
Euchre Tournaments are conducted every Wednesday.
General: Transport has been made available for Area pictures, boxing, and Sunday picnics. On 26th Jan. twenty airmen attended a dance at No. 69 AWAS Barracks.
Due to the numerical increase in personnel and the lack of refrigeration storage capacity, the unit has discontinued to purchase the weekly bullock, for the period of the Wet Season.
The Officers have commenced demolition on a building at 58 Mile to be used as our new Airmens' Recreation Hut.
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