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RAAF Form A.50

No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, RAAF - March 1943

1 March 1943 to 31 March 1943 - COOMALIE CREEK
STRENGTH:- At the end of MARCH 1943 the strength of the Unit consisted of:-
107 AIRMEN - 3 W.O.'s., 1 F/Sgt., 9 Sgts., 17 Cpls., 69 LAC's. & AC's. (7 attached)

CHANGE OF COMMAND:- During the absence on leave of the Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader L.W. LAW, the Unit is temporarily commanded by Flight Lieutenant C.C. LAWRIE as from 16th. MARCH 1943.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY AND OPERATIONS:- Owing to unserviceability and unfavourable weather conditions operational reconnaissances in Lightning aircraft were restricted and only one partially successful operation was accomplished. Considerable local photography and training in Air Support was carried out during the month. Experimental night photography was attempted with success from Wirraway aircraft. Since JANUARY members of this Unit have carried out operational photographic duties with the 319th Squadron USAAF.

DEATH ON ACTIVE SERVICE:- No. 36648 Corporal SHARLAND D.A. whilst on duty as photographer with the U.S.A. Army Air Forces, was killed over BABO on 16th. MARCH 1943.

AIR RAID:- At 0400/2Z the camp area was strafed by low flying Zeros, causing no damage or casualties.

COMMUNICATIONS:- During the early part of the month communication was seriously interrupted by heavy rains which made the road to the Unit almost impassable. Dry conditions and repairs have since relieved the situation.

AIRCRAFT:- Lockheed Lightnings A55-1 and A55-3 unserviceable. On 16th. MARCH 1943 Flight Lieutenant C.C. LAWRIE arrived from Eagle Farm with A55-3 which, had been allotted to this Unit. This aircraft has since become unserviceable through faulty intercoolers.
On 24th. MARCH 1943 Flight Lieutenant P.B. SINNOTT arrived from No. 1 Aircraft Depot with A55-1 which had undergone a 240 hourly inspection. This aircraft is now unserviceable with faulty intercooler and supercharger.
Republic Lancer A56-4 Serviceable.
Republic Lancer A56-3 crashed after landing on the strip due to faulty brakes and has been allotted to No. 4 RSU for repair.
Brewster Buffalo A51-1 and A51-3 are both serviceable.
Wirraway A20-178 serviceable.
Serviceability has been good during the month.

Lockheed Lightning 26 hours 45 mins.
Republic Lancer 16 hours 25 mins.
Brewster Buffalo 36 hours 45 mins.
Wirraway 22 hours 15 mins.
Total times for all types 102 hours 10 mins.

TRANSPORT:- The Unit possessed the following transport at the end of MARCH 1943:-
1 Staff Car
3 Heavy Tenders
2 Light Tenders
1 Utility
1 Stores Tender
1 Petrol Tanker
1 Photographic Trailer
1 Photographic Tender
1 Water Trailer
1 Jeep
2 Motor Cycles
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