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RAAF Form A.50

No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, RAAF - September 1944

1 September 1944 to 9 September 1944 - COOMALIE CREEK
This period under review (1st Sep., to 9th Sep., 1944) covers the last phase of No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. After 9th Sep., 1944 No. 1 PRU ceased to exist as such and emerged as No. 87 (Photographic Reconnaissance) Squadron.

STRENGTH : As at the end of period 9th Sept., 1944 the strength of the Unit consisted of:-
8 Officers
85 Airmen
TOTAL 93 Personnel.

POSTINGS: F/Lt. C.J. RUSH posted to No. 2 RPP wef 2nd Sep., 1944 on admission to No. 1 MRS.

OPERATIONS: During the nine days six operational flights were made. Two were made by Mosquito A52-2 and returned satisfactory photographs. The Lightning A55-1 commenced one operational trip but returned because of u/s instruments. Mosquito A52-4 on detachment to Fifth Air Force and based at NOEMFOOR made three attempts to photograph the Central Philippines. On the first two occasions the aircraft returned due to electrical failures, whilst on the third trip the aircraft was destroyed before reaching base. Wirraway A20-605 was used on local photographic flight. Hudson A16-47 attached for Military Survey of local areas carried out Survey Flights.

AIRCRAFT: On the first of the month Lightning A55-1 was airborne for a photographic reconnaissance of area but returned after w0 minutes flying because of u/s instruments. Later the same day while being test flown by F/Lt. RUSH the Lightning crashed at COOMALIE through structural failure. The aircraft was a complete write off and the pilot servrely burned about the arms and was removed to hospital. Mosquito A52-4 based at NOEMFOR, three times attempted to photograph the Central Philippines. Twice the aircraft returned to base owing to electrical failure. The third time photographs were taken but on the return journey the aircraft ran into bad weather. Contact was established with OWI but reciprocal bearings were given and because of fuel exhaustion aircraft was crash landed on the beach 40 miles West of MANOKWARI in Dutch New Guinea. After landing the aircraft was destroyed by burning. The crew S/L HERMES and P/O KIRLEY) were unhurt and after being sighted by a Lightning were picked up by a Catalina 26 hours after the crash landing.
Mosquito A52-2 during these nine days gave satisfactory service and completed two Operational trips - one to the FLORES ISLANDS and one to the KEI ISLANDS.
Wirraway A20-605 also was completely serviceable during this period and was used for one local photographic trip. Wirraway A20-178 was u/s for hydraulic seals over the whole of this period, having been made A.O.G. in August.

EQUIPMENT: The equipment position did not change much during this period compared with the previous month. The senior NCO of the store was posted South after 18 months in the Territory and his place was taken by a corporal.

PHOTOGRAPHIC: These nine days provided a period of average activity for the photographic staff. From two operational and one local photographic flights 350 prints of an operational nature were obtained. 200 reproductions of target maps were made and in all 1,100 prints were produced by the section.

TRANSPORT: The transport position remained the same as for the previous month.

WELFARE: Picnics were arranged to BERRY SPRINGS and MENDELL BEACH. Table tennis matches were arranged with 31 Squadron with enjoyable suppers following later in the evening.

FLYING TIMES:
Lightning 1.00
Wirraway 0.30
Mosquito 13.05
TOTAL 14.35

TRAINING: Nil training was carried out during this period.
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