RAAF Form A.50
No. 457 Squadron, RAAF - August 1943
| 17 August 1943 - LIVINGSTONE.|
Fine and hot. Today has been our lucky day. Of three enemy reconnaissance machines sent over in the morning to get information out of the entire area, all three were destroyed by this Squadron. Worried about their failure to return, the Japanese despatched yet another in the afternoon, and this, too, was destroyed by W/Cdr. C.R. Caldwell, DFC and Bar, who is at present at 452 Squadron. S/Ldr. K.E. James destroyed one DINAH: he fired three bursts at it while over FENTON, and saw it hit the ground, burning fiercely. F/Lt. P.H. Watson, DFC, pursued another near ANSON BAY, gave him a long burst, whereat both his motors started to smoke and the aircraft blew up in flames, covering Watson's Spitfire with oil. Watson was so close he was forced to break violently to avoid striking flying pieces. The wreckage blew up again when at about 5000 feet from the ground. F/Sgts. R. Jenkins and R/Watson shared the third DINAH, and sent it down in flames on to BATHURST ISLAND, from which some wreckage and two bodies have already been recovered, including a new type of compass. F/Lt. J. Newton, who was leading Jenkins' section, was unlucky enough to be so near and yet so far from the enemy aircraft during the action, and although he fired his guns, he does not claim a share in the victory. Naturally enough, there was a slight celebration at night, and the Intelligence Officer is pestered for parts of the enemy aircraft as souvenirs of the best day the Squadron has yet had. The Hudson Squadron reports an aircraft on the floor of the sea in a line between DARWIN and TIMOR: we wonder if it could possibly be the same aircraft which F/Sgt. Batchelor claimed as merely 'damaged' on the eleventh of this month. If this were the case, Batch has suffered very bad luck in not being able to confirm its loss.