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RAAF Form A.50

No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, RAAF - August 1943

1 August 1943 to 31 August 1943 - COOMALIE CREEK
STRENGTH:- At the end of August 1943 the strength of the Unit consisted of:-
9 Officers
93 Airmen, --- 3 W/O's. 9 Sgts. 9 Cpls. 61 LAC's 11 A.C's.
10 Airmen, attached from Security Guards and USAAC.
1 Airman detached to 457 Squadron.

VISITS:- Officers of this Unit were presented to the Governor General, Lord Gowrie VC.

CHANGE OF COMMAND:- F/Lt. F.H. ROBILLIARD relinquished temporary command of the Unit on S/Ldr. C.C. LAWRIE'S return from leave, on 24th. August 1943.

POSTINGS:- P/O. L. BASSER, Equipment Officer was posted to this Unit on 30th. August. 1943
F/O. G.W SIVYER was posted to RAAF Station CANBERRA on 5th. August 1943.

AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:- F/Lt. G.A. EVERINGHAM, at present Photographic Officer, N.W. Area has been awarded the M.B.E. for his work in this Unit. Recommendation and citation are included in Appendix "B".
P/O H.L. RUSTON has received letters of commendation from General MacArthur and Lieut. General Kenny for his participation as photographer in bombing raids on Makassar and Balikpapan.

OPERATIONS:- Owing to aircraft unserviceability, only three operations were carried out during the month. Two new strips were discovered in the Koepang Area and the existance of a strip at Nembrala on Roti Island was confirmed. Local Photography and some Army and Fleet co-operation were carried out in Wirraway aircraft.

AIR RAIDS:- On Friday 13th. Japanese night bombers dropped bombs and incendiaries from the aircraft dispersal area to transport section but no damage was caused, due partly to the prompt action of several airmen in extinguishing incendiary fires.
On 20th. a second visit was made, no damage resulting from bombs dropped.

INCENDIARY BOMBS:- F/Lt. P.B. SINNOTT attended a lecture and demonstration of incendiary bombs at N.W.A. Headquarters on 13th. August 1943.

EQUIPMENT STORE:- The store is now completed and in use. Improved facilities have enabled the equipment officer to store goods more satisfactorily and provision is being made for photographic stores which will be kept in a special cool room.

WELFARE:- A piano and loud speaker address system were presented to the Unit by the RAAF Welfare Fund. P/O. RUSTON has been appointed officer in charge of educational facilities. A dinner was held on 28th. August 1943 to celebrate the unit's twelfth month in the Area. A five piece orchestra later, entertained.

AIRCRAFT:- Lockheed Lightning A55-1 unserviceable. Lightning A55-3 was flown to 14 ARD on 19th. for a 240 hourly inspection on the airframe and engine overhaul. Trouble was experienced at altitude from overheating. A55-1 has been unserviceable for spare parts, some of which have been secured from A55-3, but engine trouble has prevented full serviceability.
Wirraways A20-178, A20-605, and A20-558 are serviceable. A20-605 and A20-558 are on load to this unit, having been flown here from 4 R&SU on the 4th and 16th respectively. Hydraulics and brakes have given some trouble but serviceability is generally good.

FLYING TIMES:- for August are as follows:-
Lockheed Lightning 20 hours 25 minutes.
Wirraways 53 hours 05 minutes.
TOTAL 73 hours 30 minutes.

TRANSPORT:- The unit possessed the following transport at the end of August 1943:-
1 Staff Car
2 Heavy Tenders
2 Light Tenders
1 Ambulance
1 Utility
1 Stores Tender
1 Petrol Tanker
1 Photographic Tender
1 Water Trailer
1 Mobile Kitchen
2 Motor cycles.
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