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RAAF Form A.50

No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, RAAF - December 1943

1 December 1943 to 31 December 1943 - COOMALLIE CREEK
STRENGTH:- As at the end of December 1943 the strength of the Unit consisted of:-
11 Officers
66 Airmen ---- 1 W/O, 3 Sgts, 11 Cpls, 51 Acs
7 Airmen ---- Security Guards ( duty only )

POSTINGS:- During the month the following officers have been posted to the Unit:-

OPERATIONS:- Owing to adverse weather and unserviceability of aircraft, only two operations have been carried out. Both of these operations being carried out over DILLI and ATAMBOEA.
WIRRAWAY aircraft have been devoted mainly to the conversion of the new pilots and instruction in photographic reconnaissance. Parachute flares were dropped on three occasions for the Army A/A guns.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SECTION:- The redesigning of the photographic section and the installation of an air-conditioning plant which has been under construction for some time is now completed. The air-conditioning is very satisfactory and with cooler temperatures in the dark-rooms it has facilitated the production of operational photography to a high degree.
The photographic tender which previously was on loan to No. 380 BOMB GROUP, FENTON has now been returned. A number of photographic detail were carried out. Three photographers are undergoing aerial trainin in the operating of cameras for mosaics obliques and vertical pinpoints etc.

EQUIPMENT:- During the month a number of spares were obtained from USLO, NEA and RAAF COMMAND and with this new source of supply being available to this Unit the previous acute position of spare parts has been eased to a considerable degree and it is desireable that this source of supply be continued.

AIRCRAFT:- Aircraft A55-1 has been at TOWNSVILLE since the 5th. NOVEMBER 1943, undergoing an engine change.
Aircraft A55-3 crashed landed at BATCHELOR on completion of an operational flight, owing to an undercarriage failure.
WIRRAWAY A20-558 serviceable.
WIRRAWAY A20-178 has been unserviceable during the month and has just completed a 240 hourly inspection by this Unit.

WIRRAWAY A/C 48 hours 10 minutes
LIGHTNING A/A 17 hours 40 minutes
TOTAL:- 65 hours 50 minutes

TRAINING:- Flying Officer BOSS-WALKER has successfully completed a conversion on to LIGHTNING aircraft.
F/Lt. GREEN, F/O RUSH and F/O LOVEGROVE have successfully completed their conversions to WIRRAWAY aircraft and are undergoing training in photographic reconnaissance.

TRANSPORT:- Transport position is similar to last months report. The reconditioned trucks are operating quite satisfactory and there are no grounds for complaints. The motor cycle previously shown is at present receiving a "G" inspection.

WELFARE:- An evening was arranged between officers and sargeants versus airmen for a challenge match in table tennis and darts. Supper was provided, the goods being supplied hy the ACF.
Christmas hampers donated by the ACF were distributed to all ranks.
A Christmas dinner was arranged in which all ranks took part, the Welfare supply various amenities. Community songs and numerous games were played in the airmen's recreation room later in the evening. Photos are attached of the officer's and airmen's mess during Christmas dinner.
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