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Ex-RAAF C-47 Dakota on display at Mulwala, NSW (Daniel J. Leahy, 2014)
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RAAF Form A.50

No. 54 Squadron, RAF - March 1943

1 March 1943 - Darwin
Bad weather continued all day until after nightfall and there was no enemy action.
2 March 1943 - Darwin
Fine weather for most of the day and exciting doings. An enemy raid of about 12 - 15 aircraft, probably KATES escorted by ZEKES, straffed Coomallie strip and were intercepted by the Squadron on the way out. A combat took place over the sea about 30 miles WNW of Point Charles. Winko section and Red section engaged the enemy, result two Zekes and a Kate destroyed, the two Zekes by W/C Caldwell and S/L Gibbs and the Kate by W/C Caldwell.
No casualties on our side but the CO's aircraft had m/g damage to radiator and glycol system. P/O Ashby (Red 4) got in a burst on a Kate and saw strikes on top of engine cowling and smoke issuing therefrom. He gets a damaged.
Suitable celebration in the Mess in the evening, in which the Senior NCOs joined.
3 March 1943 - Darwin
Learned (i) that 4 E/A failed to get home after yesterday's scrap and (2) that the A.A. gunners at Coomallie claim a hit on a Zeke, from which pieces were observed to fly off. This rather complicates matters and we await final assessment of victories from N.W. Area. There was a recco. over this morning but no interceptions took place. It came right over the camp, with A.A. firing at it and at that moment the Army bomb disposal people let off an unexploded bomb very near us. We were just sitting down to lunch and everyone thought they were being bombed.
4 March 1943 - Darwin
The BBC News at 21.30 hrs announced : "It can now be revealed that Spitfire Aircraft are operating in the S.W. Pacific area", and mentioned RAF pilots as flying them. So it is out at last. They also gave us six victories in the raid of March 2. This figure was announced earlier owing to some mis-management (not on our part) and they are evidently sticking to it.
5 March 1943 - Darwin
Bad weather supervened to-day and there was very little flying.
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