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RAAF Form A.50

No. 453 Squadron, RAAF - January 1942

3 January 1942 - Sembawang
Escort provided for Large and important convoy bound from Batavia to Singapore with reinforcements. Convoy sighted 120 miles south east of Singapore. 6 a/c flown by S/Ldr. HARPER, F/Lt. KINNINMONT, F/Lt. VANDERFIELD, Sgts. CLARE, HALLIDAY and Board escorted convoy from this position for 1¼ hours until relieved by 488 Squadron. Further escort provided in the afternoon. 6 a/c flown by S/Ldr. HARPER, F/Lts. KINNINMONT and VANDERFIELD, Sgts. CLARE, GRIFFITHS, and SUMMERTON picked up convoy 50 miles south east of Singapore and patrolled for 1 hour. Weather was bad on this patrol. Sgt. GRIFFITHS was lost, force-landed on Dutch Island near Sumatra, believed to be Great Durian Island. Sustained injuries to spine.
5 January 1942 - Sembawang
F/Lt. GRACE and Sgt. LEYS carried out a reconnaissance from Kuala Lumpur to Perak River and to Selangor at about 200'. Also reconnaissance of Port Swettenham area for possible Japanese landing. 6 a/c of 453 Squadron carried out patrols over Singapore during the day in conjunction with 21 Squadron.
6 January 1942 - Sembawang
Further reconnaissance by 6 a/c to Port Swettenham and Mersing Areas. 6 Airmen who had remained behind at Kuala Lumpur as a rear guard to service a/c operating from this base returned by road to Sembawang after demolishing aerodrome and buildings at Sungei Besi and Port Swettenham. Signal received from W/Cdr. DARLEY, DSO, RAF Station Commander Sungei Besi commending the work done by these men under most difficult and hazardous circumstances, namely frequent bombing and straffing of the airfield.
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