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RAAF Form A.50

No. 457 Squadron, RAAF - January 1943

1 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine and warm. A & E tests only.
2 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine and warm. Local flying.
3 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Warm, overcast. A & E tests; local flying.
4 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Warm, overcast. Local flying. Second party, comprising one officer, nine NCO's and twenty one airmen, and under P/O F.F. Daniels, Defence Officer, left to travel by rail and road to the Squadron's new location in the North Western Area.
5 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Warm, overcast, some rain. Cannon tests: local flying.
6 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine and warm. Local flying.
7 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine and warm. Cross country and local flying.
8 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine and warm. Cross country flights and aircraft tests.
9 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Fine, light cloud. Cross country flying.
10 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Overcast, high ceiling; warm. Aircraft tests.
11 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Overcast and warm. Cross country flying.
12 January 1943 - CAMDEN
Overcast, high ceiling. Main party, led by F/Lt. D.L. Peate (Medical Officer) and including F/O P. Goldin (Intelligence Officer), F/O F.B. Turbill (G.D), and F/O F. Beale (G.D), with fifty one NCO's and one hundred and sixty other ranks, entrained at CAMDEN for first stage of journey to NORTH WESTERN AREA. The Squadron detrained at GLEBE ISLAND WHARF and boarded the Dutch M.V. "Maetsuycker". Accommodation for the men was cramped, the Squadron being placed in hammocks slung 'tween decks.
13 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine, with calm sea. The transport left SYDNEY at 06.00 hours under escort of an Australian corvette and two Hudsons. Proceeded north in a calm sea. Rain storm at night.
The first party has arrived at BATCHELOR, NORTH WESTERN AREA, and has commenced preparations for reception of second party.
14 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Calm sea. Men are settling down to monotony of sea travel.
Air party moved from CAMDEN to RICHMOND.
15 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Sea calm. Sky overcast and rain, with squalls. An event - the passage of another ship.
Second party has arrived at BATCHELOR, and commenced preparations for reception of main party.
16 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Sea very calm, some rain. Fine in afternoon. Ship has entered the Barrieir Reef; escorting corvetted has left us. Ship close to land; hills of Queensland "sugar country" can be discerned to port. Our first Pacific Isles have been sighted, though they are too high to be atolls. Many ships sighted.
Air party made cross country flight from RICHMOND to MILDURA.
17 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine and hot, sea calm. Ship only half mile from shore in morning; a tumble of tree clad hills yields a pleasant sight. Arrived at CAIRNS late in the afternoon, and the ship had anchored in the stream. This is a lovely port; sea varies in colour through all the greens, from lapis-lazuli to a royal purple. Hills are forested to water's edge. Much interesting activity in the harbour.
Air party flew cross country from MILDURA to OODNADATTA, thence to ALICE SPRINGS.
18 January 1943 - CAIRNS.
Fine and hot. Shore leave granted, each man being released for two hours; the majority returned laden with tropical fruit. Town is of a definite military flavour.
Air party flew cross country from ALICE SPRINGS to DALY WATERS, thence to BATCHELOR.
19 January 1943 - CAIRNS.
Fine and hot. Shore leave completed, the ship watered and refuelled, left CAIRNS at 18.00 hours, being farewelled by a naval ship.
20 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine and hot, sea very calm. Ship slipping through coral islands. At midday contacted small coastal vessel disabled through engine trouble; this was reported at an island base in the evening. Night brought a severe tropical storm.
Two sections at BATCHELOR scrambled. No interception, although enemy reconnaissance aircraft was in vicinity of Fighter Wing's airfields.
21 January 1943 - THURSDAY ISLAND.
Fine and hot, sea calm. Occasional tropical showers. Arrived at THURSDAY ISLAND. Settlement of PORT KENNEDY lies along waterfront at foot of low, vividly green hills. Distribution of beer to Squadron by ship's captain to celebrate the birth of Princess Juliana's third child. A very lovely night attracted most of the ship's complement on to the deck.
22 January 1943 - THURSDAY ISLAND.
Fine and hot. Ship left PORT KENNEDY at 1100 hours under escort of Australian sloop and corvette, and patrolling Beaufort. Submarine and aircraft watch instituted by volunteer airmen.
BATCHELOR: Scramble and sector recco.
23 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine and hot, sea glassy smooth. One case of dengue reported on board -- a legacy of CAIRNS.
BATCHELOR: Sector recco.
24 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine and hot; sea very calm. Pin points of light and shadows of land sighted in evening.
BATCHELOR: Local flying.
25 January 1943 - AT SEA.
Fine and hot, sea very calm. Corvette turns back. Westbound convoy overtaken and passed among islands of ARAFURA SEA. Arrived at DARWIN at 14.00 hours. Squadron disembarked at 17.00 hours and proceeded to BATCHELOR by M.T. The entire Squadron was accommodated by 22.00 hours. Ship's cargo of Fighter Wing equipment is being unloaded immediately. All stores are loaded into Bond Stores near wharf and redistributed to the Squadrons.
BATCHELOR: Local flying.
26 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. Squadron concerned mainly with setting camp in order and associated jobs. Complaints of lotting being received by orderly room from several sections. For instance, 200 out of 300 pairs of drab stockings belonging to Welfare Officer have disappeared. The remaining 100 pair arrived at BATCHELOR in a carton which had been ripped open. Cigarettes, tooth paste and tooth brushes are missing from cases which had been forced open.
27 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. Squadron fairly well established, returning to normal routine. An airmen's canteen has been opened and is doing big business. Despite the humidity, all members of the Squadron are working long hours each day to smooth the Squadron into an efficient organization. Responsibilities and decisions fall hardest upon S/Ldr. James and Adjutant F/O Alford, who have not failed in the many emergencies.
28 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. Flying: rendezvous with other Squadrons of Wing.
29 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. Aircraft testing.
30 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. Formation flying by flights, camera testing and convoy patrol.
31 January 1943 - BATCHELOR.
Fine and hot. 3 Scrambles. No interception. Enemy reconnaissance aircraft plots in vicinity. Some aircraft flew from BATCHELOR to LIVINGSTONE, the Squadron's new operational base. Advance ground party moved into LIVINGSTONE by M.T.
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