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RAAF Form A.50

No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, RAAF - July 1944

1 July 1944 to 31 July 1944 - COOMALLIE CREEK
STRENGTH:- As at the end of July 1944 the strength of the Unit consisted of :-
8 Officers
85 Airmen including 5 Security Guards attached.
TOTAL 93 personnel.

POSTINGS :- S/Ldr C.C. LAWRIE, G.D. Pilot, posted out on completion of a 21 months tour, relinquished command.
S/Ldr A.S. HERMES, G.D. Pilot, posted from RAAF STAFF SCHOOL, assumed command of the Unit.
F/O J. BOWDEN, Nav. W., posted to the Unit for crewing on MOSQUITO aircraft.
W/O A.L. KIRLEY, Nav. W., posted to the Unit for crewing on MOSQUITO aircraft.

OPERATIONS :- During the month seven operational flights were made, six in the MOSQUITO and one in the LIGHTNING. Only three of these flights returned photographs, cloud over the target on the other occasions prevented photography. The areas successfully covered were PENFOEI, MAOEMERE and AMBON. Nine local photographic flights were successfully carried out in the WIRRAWAY aircraft.
One WIRRAWAY operation (F/O C.J. RUSH Pilot, P/O C.N. LOVE Navigator, camera operator) embodied an area 75 miles by 10 miles, and making due allowance for the unsuitability of the aircraft for such a job, was satisfactorily completed. The location of this flight was ORD RIVER, W. Aust., and including travel to and from HALL'S CREEK, the job was completed in three days.
The MOSQUITO (S/Ldr A.S. HERMES, Pilot, F/O BOWDEN, navigator, camera operator) was flown from TRUSCOTT strip to BALIKPAPAN and return, a distance of 2235 statute miles, the longest flight yet made by the Unit.

AIRCRAFT :- The MOSQUITO performed satisfactorily during the month, although on one occasion it arrived at base on one engine, due to airscrew failure when the Hydromatic Dome End Plug stripped during flight. The petrol venting system gave some little trouble but was remedied as was also a disability of the rear camera port. The aircraft, (S/Ldr R.M. GREEN Pilot, W/O JAMES Navigator camera operator) was sent to BIAK Is, DNG for the purpose of photographing targets in the HALMAHERAS and PHILLIPINES. Operating from MOKMER strip it was found that water from the coral strip thrown up during take-off obscured the rear camera glass and would have ruined any photographs taken. One return to COOMALLIE a waterproof slide was fitted beneath the rear camera port, which simple modification should prove satisfactory.
The LIGHTNING aircraft after successfully completing one operation was allotted to TOWNSVILLE for engine change.
WIRRAWAY aircraft were maintained at a fair average serviceability, only minor troubles being experienced.

EQUIPMENT:- Equipment for the month of July came to hand fairly satisfactorily: a few demands on No. 6 and 7 SD are outstanding.

MOSQUITO 51 hours. 00 mins.
LIGHTNING 14 hours 05 mins.
WIRRAWAY 51 hours 35 mins.
TOTAL 116 hours 40 mins.

PHOTOGRAPHIC:- Total number of prints made were as follows:
Air Photography 2136
Ground Photography 2887
Cine Photography 138

TRANSPORT:- The transport position is below average, inspections and lack of spares making the situation at times accute; particularly is the position difficult when the motor cycle is off the road.

WELFARE:- A Table Tennis Tournament was held against No. 31 SQUADRON providing a very enjoyable nights entertainment. The billiard table was repaired. The weekly picnics are still being held. Euchre Tournaments have been held each week. Due to lack of practice facilities and excessive operational work it has been found necessary to withdraw the Unit's team from the Cricket Competition.

TRAINING:- Nil training carried out during the month.
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