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RAAF Form A.50

No. 87 Squadron, RAAF - November 1944

1 November 1944 to 30 November 1944 - COOMALIE
STRENGTH:
As at 1st November, 1944
Officers - 19 + 4 attached
Airmen - 124 + 12 attached
Total - 143 + 16 attached = 159

As at 30th November, 1944
Officers - 27 + 5 attached
Airmen - 129 + 15 attached
Total - 156 + 20 attached = 176

POSTINGS:
F/Lt. A.L.M. SPURGIN (404120) DFC ex 2 RPP wef 10.11.44 Pilot
F/O T.C. BAIRD (412355) ex 2 RPP wef 10.11.44 Nav. "BW"
F/O R. BRADSHAW (260091) ex 7 RSU wef 28.11.44 Eng. Off.
F/Lt. R.S. TIMBURY (403835) ex 2 RPP wef 28.11.44 Pilot
F/O G. LUNDBERG (404607) ex 2 RPP wef 28.11.44 Pilot
P/O D.H. KING (431361) ex 2 RPP wef 28.11.44 Nav. "W"
P/O J.E. KIRCHER (60832) ex 2 RPP wef 28.11.44 Nav. "W"
P/O J.S. REYNOLDS (439909) ex 2 RPP wef 28.11.44 Nav. "W"
F/Lt. R.J. ARTHUR (271994) ex 82 Wing Hq. wef 28.11.44 A&SD Ops.
F/O J.N. LOVE (433602) to RPP departed 30.11.44 Nav. "W"
P/O A.L. KIRLEY (3839) to 2 RPP departed 30.11.44 Nav. "BW"
F/Lt W.J. RYAN (3566) attached RAAF Command departed 15.11.44 Phot. Off.

PROMOTIONS:
F/O (Act. F/Lt.) W.J. RYAN (3566) promoted Temp. F/Lt. wef 1.7.44.
P/O D.C.J. BRADBURY (13176) Promoted F/O wef 1.6.44.
P/O K.V. ROGET (401153) Promoted F/O wef 13.6.44.

FLYING TIMES:
Mosquito - 235 hours 10 min.
Wirraway - 12 hours 50 min.
Total - 248 hours 00 min.

OPERATIONS:
This month saw a large increase in the activities of 87 Squadron. A total of 25 operational sorties were undertaken of which 21 sorties were successfully completed. Again the majority of our targets was situated in the CELEBES, 15 flights being undertaken to that area. Our target area however was greatly extended to include for the first time BALI, the [KANGKAN?] Islands, and East JAVA whilst the KAI Islands, TIMOR and the FLORES were again visited.
The East JAVA reconnaissance was of particular interest as this was the first time this area had been covered. Two aircraft were sent on this job and owing to the distance involved, BROOME was used as a staging out point. One aircraft on arrival at the target area found its targets obscured by heavy cloud and was unable to obtain photographs. A second attempt however was made the next day with complete success.
This is the first time we have used BROOME as a staging point but the Squadron has made extensive use of TRUSCOTT. All trips to the CELEBES involved long flying hours and in most of these trips it has been found prudent to shorten the distance by using TRUSCOTT as a refuelling point. This month alone 12 sorties returned to TRUSCOTT and in some cases also commenced from there.
Three times this month A/A was encountered over targets. On the first occasion (in the KAI Islands) the crew on return reported the fire as inaccurate but subsequent investigation of the aircraft revealed traces of molten metal. On the other two occasions at POMOLA in the CELEBES and at MALANG in East JAVA the fire was less accurate. Once again no interception by enemy aircraft was experienced though on one or two occasions crews reported having seen aircraft taking off from strips.

AIRCRAFT:
Two new aircraft Mosquito A52-7 and A52-9 have been received this month. A52-7 arrived on the 8th and after inspection was used on one operational trip with satisfactory results. A52-9 did not arrive until the 26th and so far has not been used for operational work. The bulk of the operational work was again undertaken by A52-6 a total of 13 operations being carried out in this aircraft. A52-2 was also largely used, 9 operations being done.
The percentage serviceability was slightly lower than for last month but this was due mainly to the arrival of the two new aircraft and to the number of hours flown - nearly double that of last month, causing five minor inspections to be undertaken. The maintenance can therefore be classed as very satisfactory particularly as unserviceability interfered very little with operational work. In fact only one operation was rendered entirely abortive due to U/S aircraft and that was laid to the old bogey of plug trouble.
The two Wirraways were used for local photographic and travel work but both developed leaks in the hydraulic system due to perished washers a fault due more to the idleness of the aircraft than to any lack of maintenance.
The two Hudsons attached from Survey Flight were serviceable this month and carried out photographic survey missions.

TRANSPORT:
The transport position is still most difficult. Our three vehicles are still unserviceable at 4 RSU and no replacements have been received, the position being exactly the same as for last month.

EQUIPMENT:
[UNREADABLE]

TRAINING:
Nil training was carried out this month.

VISITORS:
Air Commodore A.M. CHARLESWORTH AFC Air Officer Commanding, North Western Area visited the Unit on 23rd November, 1944.

WELFARE:
[UNREADABLE]
On the 18th and [19th?] cricket matches were arranged between Officers and Airmen the Officers team winning on both occasions.
Only one Quiz Session was held this month but it proved highly popular with the men. More will be held in the future.
The wall newspapers are still proving popular and many original articles have been submitted five being received this month. The Welfare Committee has decided to award a prize of One Guinea for the best article received this month. So far the prize winner has not been selected.
Transport has been available for various activities such as Sunday Picnics and attendance at Pictures, Athletic Carnival and Boxing Tournaments. The airmen have made full use of these opportunities and particularly to watch the Boxing Tournaments in which they have displayed a keen interest.
The Unit has continued to purchase one bullock weekly to supplement the fresh meat ration.

PHOTOGRAPHIC.
November has been the busiest month that photographic section has so far experienced. The 25 operational sorties carried out returned a total of 4,483 negatives from which 13,189 prints were made. In addition a further 2,407 prints were made of ground subjects.
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