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RAAF Form A.50

No. 87 Squadron, RAAF - October 1944

1 October 1944 to 31 October 1944 - COOMALIE
STRENGTH:
As at 1st October, 1944
Officers - 14
Airmen - 98
Total - 112

As at 31st October, 1944.
Officers - 24
Airmen - 136
Total - 160

POSTINGS:
F/Lt. E.T. FLANAGAN (3590) ex 2 RPP wef 20.10.44 Equip. Officer and Adjutant
F/O J.E. DOWNLING (5568) ex 2 RPP wef 25.10.44 Signals Officer.
S/Ldr. H.A. GAMBLE (250499) ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Pilot.
F/Lt. K.J. GRAY (402119) ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Pilot.
F/Lt. R.A. LANGSFORD (407621) DFC ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Pilot.
F/O L.L. LOBB (418965) ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Nav. BW
F/O W.E. SUDLOW (427958) ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Nav. W
P/O T.G. TOZER (441472) ex 2 RPP wef 26.10.44 Nav. W
F/O L. BASSER (425480) To 1 P.D. Departed 24.10.44. Equip. Officer and Adj.

PROMOTIONS:
F/Lt. H.R. BONYTHON (280778) AFC promoted to Temp. Squadron Leader with effect from 1st July, 1944.

FLYING TIMES:
Mosquito - 119.00 hours
Wirraway - 16.55 hours
Total - 135.55 hours

OPERATIONS:
In this, the second month of 87 Squadron's existence twelve operational sorties were made. Of these eight were successful, three were partially successful and one was unsuccessful. In addition four other sorties were commenced but, owing to aircraft unserviceability, had to be abandoned within half an hour of commencement of each flight.
The main targets this month were all situated in the CELEBES and so necessitated a long trip in every case. As with last month no interception of our aircraft was experienced unless we count the Spitfires at TRUSCOTT which intercepted one of our aircraft which returned early because of fuel shortage and with its IFF U/S. The aircraft was picked up by fighter sector and considered histile and a Red warning was given. The aircraft however was identified visually as friendly before any positive action was taken.
Twice - once at KOEPANG in TIMOR and once at WODONG BAY in the FLORES - our aircraft encountered A.A on their outward journeys. In both cases the aircraft were at approximately 10,000 feet and the A/A was reported as slight, heavy, accurate for height but trailing.
Only on one occasion was a visual sighting obtained. Then two large MVs escorted by one destroyer were observed in PARE PARE BAY and a sighting report was transmitted.
One trip was notable because of the use for the first time in this Area of a camera fitted with a 36" lens. The results were satisfactory but not as good as anticipated and the 20" lens continues to be the main lens for our photographic reconnaissance work.

AIRCRAFT.
The bulk of operational flying this month has been carried out in Mosquito A52-6. This has largely been due to Mosquito A52-2 being U/S for 26 days for a 240 hourly inspection. The total flying hours however for this month exceed last months figures and most of it falling to A52-6 resulted in this aircraft undergoing three minor inspections in this period. Even so a rather higher total of flying hours would undoubtedly have been reached but for the aircraft developing minor faults resulting in the cancellation of operational sorties.
Twice A52-6 returned shortly after take off due to plug trouble. This plug trouble has been traced to the accumulation of fine dust picked up at TRUSCOTT airstrip and is now guarded against by an inspection of plugs when an aircraft has been using TRUSCOTT strip.
The wireless electrical system in the Mosquito aircraft also gave trouble but since obtaining wiring diagrams this trouble has been traced and obviated.
Trouble was also experienced with the fuel [immersed?] pump but this also has been rectified. The maintenance position of Mosquito aircraft may thus be classed as satisfactory and with an increase in flight personnel it is expected that the forthcoming month should [???] an even better record of serviceability.
The two Wirraways were completely serviceable throughout this month and were used for local flying (training, travel, and photographic).
Two Hudsons A16-130 and A16-47 were attached throughout the month from Survey Flight for local photographic survey. Several flights were carried out by A16-130 but A16-47 was [AOC?] for the entire period because of a U/S generator which seemingly is irreplaceable as all avenues have been explored to obtain another generator for this aircraft without success.

TRANSPORT:
Three vehicles are now U/S and are at 4 RSU for serviceing. It is anticipated that there will be considerable delay in making these vehicles serviceable as 4 RSU advise great difficulty in securing spare parts.
The jeep on establishment has not yet been supplied and unless replacement vehicles are obtained the transport position will rapidly become acute.

EQUIPMENT:
The equipment position is fairly satisfactory at present though some delay is being experienced in obtaining supplies of AOG equipment, mainly because the relevant Stores Depots are in the South. It seems that the supply position of all spares must be closely watched by the EO if maximum serviceability is to be obtained - a very necessary condition in view of the number of sorties now being made by this Squadron.

PHOTOGRAPHIC:
During the month twelve operational and two local photographic flights returned film for developing and printing. In all 6,580 operational prints, 1,875 reproductions of target maps and 1,350 prints of a miscellaneous nature were completed.
This was again a busy period for the section largely because of the necessity for enlarging many negatives for the production of target maps.

TRAINING:
F/Lt. A.W. PROCTOR DFC, F/O A.J. PHILLIPS DFC both completed conversion courses to Wirraways during the month.

WELFARE:
During the month the usual Sunday picnics were continued to MENDELL BEACH, BERRY SPRINGS and LEE POINT, also, shooting trips were arranged for aircrew which proved highly successful.
Ping-pong lost none of its popularity and many games were played against neighbouring units. Some of the Squadrons old records were changed for later numbers, so that now a wide selection of popular music is available from which to choose.
The "Wall-Newspaper" was also re-established and is to be published monthly from now on. The paper itself looks bright and attractive and the standard of articles is high.
Housei-Housei was introduced one Wednesday, but attendance was poor so future games were cancelled. The 30/- made on that night was used as prize money for a "Jack-pot" Quiz Session held on the succeeding Wednesday. This seemed very popular, so more Quizs have been arranged.
The Lending Library is now well under way and books are in great demand by all.
A concert was held at 31 Squadron during the latter part of the month in which we had participants, and considering the limited facilities, it was quite a success.
The bullock is being purchased every week from now on, assuring the Unit of plentiful supplies of fresh meat.
DeHavillands Propellor Division Comforts Fund have written to the Welfare Officer to establish a working contact and also to convey the news that Welfare equipment such as folding tables and chairs for the Rec. Room is on its way.
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