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RAAF Form A.50

No. 87 Squadron, RAAF - May 1945

1 May 1945 to 31 May 1945 - COOMALLIE
STRENGTH.
As at 31st. MAY, 1945.
Officers 40 and 1 attached.
Airmen 193 and 7 attached.
TOTAL 233 and 8 attached. GRAND TOTAL 241.

POSTINGS.
F/O R.H. BRADSHAW (260091) Engineer Officer on leave now posted to 2 PD.
F/O R.L. RUTTER (129863) - Adjutant - Posted to 9 RC departed 2 MAY, 1945.
F/O T.C. BAIRD (419353) - Nav. BW - in Hospital now posted South on Medical grounds. (2 RPP Non Effective).
F/O K.A. YUILLE (4586) - G.D. Operations Officer on compassionate leave now posted to 1 PD wef date of arrival on compassionate grounds.
F/L. J. CUMING (255260) - Intelligence Officer - was attached until 13 MAY, now posted this Squadron with effect from 14 MAY, 1945.
F/L G.C. KAY (407583) - Pilot - ex. 2 RPP arrived 20 MAY, 1945.

PROMOTIONS. NIL.

FLYING TIMES.
Mosquito 227 hours 10 minutes.
Wirraway 57 hours 40 minutes.
Total. 284 hours 50 minutes.

VISITS AND INSPECTIONS.
On 31st. MAY, 1945 the Air Officer Commanding North Western Area Air Commodore A.M. CHARLESWORTH AFC and the Senior Air Staff Officer Air Commodore KNOX KNIGHT visited the Squadron.

OPERATIONS.
A total of twenty three operational sorties were ordered for this month, but four were cancelled owing to unexpected unfavourable weather over the targets. Of the nineteen sorties carried out, eleven were completely successful, all photographs being obtained. Six other sorties were partly successful, cloud over some of the targets in each case preventing full coverage. The remaining two sorties were unsuccesful, in one case due to 10/10 cloud cover over the target and in the other due to the failure of the starboard engine shortly after leaving the Australian Coast and necessitating a forced single engined landing at DARWIN. A second aircraft however was immediately sent out and successfully obtained the required photos.
As usual, our targets were situated in many different areas, visits being made to CENTRAL EAST JAVA, THE CELEBES, TIMOR, THE FLORES, SOEMBA, SERMATA and the CERAM and KAI ISLANDS. Our last sortie to CENTRAL JAVA made the deepest penetration yet achieved in that area and obtained valuable photographs of targets never before covered.
Only two of our sorties encountered A/A. Fire. Once at WAINGAPOE and once at WAIKOLO. In both cases it was light heavy and inaccurate. Nil interception was experienced. Several sightings of small ships have been made.
In addition to these sorties nine local photographic flights were carried out in the Wirraways and one in a Mosquito. A large number of local and training flights was also done by the Unit.

AIRCRAFT.
Three new Mosquito Aircraft arrived at the Squadron this month. A52-608 arrived on the 14th. A52-609 on the 20th. and A52-604 on the 22nd. General acceptance checks have been carried out on all three and they are now serviceable for operations. Mosquito A52-602 developed warping in the tail plane skin and on the 9th. of this month was allotted away to No. 14 Aircraft Repair Depot for replacement of the tail plane.
Mosquito A52-605 which was A.O.G. for parts for most of the last month has not yet been removed from the A.O.G. list and serviceability percentage has accordingly suffered. This plus the three acceptance checks carried out has resulted in our serviceability being lower than the preceding month.
Twice this month, we have had aircraft forced landing due to engine trouble. Training Mosquito A52-1010 forced landed at TINDALL due to a broken Engine Bearer, whilst A52-601 forced landed at DARWIN due to a glycol leak. The second incident is still the subject of investigation. Mosquito A52-9 is at present held up at BROOME due to the seizing up of an Airscrew Governor Unit.

PHOTOGRAPHIC.
This month was satisfactory. Successful photographic reconnaissance sorties carried out numbered seventeen and on these operations, cameras used totalled forty five.
On Operation Coo. 29, F52 Split Verticles and a K17 Vertical Camera were used, resulting in a record number of negatives produced from one operation: 1,042 exposures were made. 500 exposure F52 Magazines were carried and 475 negatives were produced from each film.
Operational negatives made totalled 3,459 and the number of prints made from aerial and ground negatives totalled 9,850.
Excellent photographic work was produced by crews in photographing DARWIN - HOWARD RIVER AREA, PORT NELSON AREA, ANJO PENINSULAR AREA, BATCHELOR "J" Bombing Range in addition to many small local jobs.
Improvements made this month assist materially in speed production, while conditions were improved with the installation of an air conditioning plant in the A-2 Photographic Trailer.

TRAINING.
Thirteen crews this month carried out General Flying Practice in Mosquito A52-1010.

TRANSPORT.
During the month of MAY the Transport Section received on strength :-
4 Tankers 6 x 6 G.M.C. (American Type)
4 Trailers Refuelling
3 Tankers 6 x 6 G.M.C. (Aust.)
1 Heavy G.S. Chevrolet.
1 Heavy Dropside and 1 Jeep.
A stakeside Chevrolet was allotted to this Squadron but was cancelled due to bad condition.
During the month the following vehicles were allotted away :-
3 Tankers 6 x 6 G.M.C. (American),
3 Tankers 4 x 2 International.
3 Trailers Refuelling,
1 Heavy G.S. Chevrolet,
1 Utility Chevrolet,
1 Light Tender Chevrolet.
At present 1 "F" Inspection is in process of completion and 1 "F" inspection is outstanding. All vehicles are roadworthy.
Personnel remains as it was in APRIL.

EQUIPMENT.
The principal cause for concern in respect to Mark 16 spares is the non arrival of Task 266 which contains a full range of airborne spares. No other spares for mark 16 aircraft are available within this area. Serviceability of these aircraft depends on interchangeability of Mark XVI spares. In addition no Mark 16 vocabulary is yet available.

WELFARE.
Sports. On 27th. MAY, 1945, the airmen played cricket against an all officers team and won 84 runs to 69.
On the 17th. we played No. 3 Wireless Unit table tennis and won by a small margin. Table tennis attained popularity during the month when a tournament was arrange. Number of entries was thirty two.
Basket ball is played after stand-down.
Education.
Flight Lieutenant CUMING (Intelligence Officer), has given an hours talk each Thursday evening. Prior to the posting of an Intelligence Officer to this Unit these lectures were given by aircrew. The attendance, which is voluntary, is estimated at approximately 50% of Unit strength.
The concert party from Headquarters, D.E.S. gave a recital at the Unit on Sunday 5th. MAY, 1945. The performance was well advertised but the attendance was only 18% of total strength.
A quiz given at night over the Public Address System was considered a success, and the total number of answer papers submitted was thirty.
General.
Transport has been made available on Sundays for airmen's picnics, Area pictures and boxing.
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