crest

History of the 75SQN

Fabric Worker, Fabric Worker Assistants
Safety Equipment Worker & Aircraft Life Support Fitters

1942 to PRESENT
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75 Squadron was formed at Townsville QLD on 4 March 1942 and has operated from such far away places as New Guinea, Malta and Butterworth and home bases such as Williamtown, Darwin and it’s present location at Tindal.  The job of correlating all former and serving members names onto one list was time consuming and involved two years of writing letters to people I knew were at the Squadron in the past, putting adverts in the WINGS magazine and finally spending two days going through the Squadrons POR’s at the RAAF Historical Section at the Campbell Park Offices in Canberra.

The POR’s gave me a complete list of members from 1942 to 1948.  No members were found in the Mustang / Vampire era at Williamtown from 1949 to 1951.  The Malta period, 1952 to 1955 was under the banner of 78 Wing and the POR’s showed that while the pilots were posted to 75 Squadron, the “groundies” were posted to 78 Wing and therefore could have worked for both 75 and 76 Squadrons.

The rest of the POR’s are complete up to and including 1978, and the era of 1978 to 1983 has been supplied by you guys that were there and to the best of my knowledge is complete.  The Darwin and Tindal era was very easy as a lot of the guys/gals that served with 75 Squadron in these places are still in the RAAF.

I have broken the list down into groups, giving the location, date the Squadron was at the location and aircraft type operated at the time, i.e. Hal-Far Malta 5 Jul 1952-20 Feb 1955 Vampire.  A selection of photographs have been added to each group, showing the aircraft type and where possible the type of flying/safety equipment used.  If you served with 75 SQN and your name is not on this list you can contact me through the web.

To all the people that have helped over the years by rolling back the mists of time and replying to my letters, many thanks.  To Ray Harvey for supplying the old parachute with signatures on it from New Guinea and allowing 75SQN Life Support to frame and hang it in their section, a big thank you.  To Steve Tetley, Pete Lewin, Neil Erickson and others, thanks for your support and input.  Finally my biggest thanks goes to the people at the RAAF history section, and in particular Janet Beck for digging up the Squadron POR’s for me to peruse.

I hope all you old boys and gals enjoy reliving the old days as much as I enjoyed doing all the research.

Paul Mason
“Once a Magpie always a Magpie”

FORMED AT TOWNSVILLE QLD
P40 KITTYHAWK
4 Mar 1942 to 20 Mar 1942
kittyhawk
Kittyhawk at Townsville 1942. ~ Photo-RAAF

On the 4 March 1942 25 P-40E’s were made available to the RAAF (A29-1 to A29-25) and 75SQN was formed. During training three P-40’s were lost (A29-2, 3 & 4). On the 19 March SQNLDR J.F. Jackson was appointed as CO. On the same day, seventeen P-40’s left for Port Moresby.

FABRIC WORKER
  • W.D. Jones



NEW GUINEA
P40 KITTYHAWK
21 Mar 1942 to Dec 1945
kittyhawk
SQNLDR Bruce Watson, DFC flying over Port Moresby in his Kittyhawk called “stardust”, 1942. ~ Photo-RAAF

On the 21st, the first flight of four P-40’s, approaching to land at Seven Mile strip, were mistaken for Japanese aircraft by Army machine gunners, which opened fire. Three of the four P-40’s were damaged, one being written off.  The first kill for the SQN was made later that day. During the 44 days 75SQN operated from Port Moresby it had destroyed 35 aircraft, had 4 probables and damaged 47 others. The SQN lost 12 pilots, including the CO, and lost 22 aircraft.

The SQN returned to Townsville on the 7 May 1942 for replacement of personnel and aircraft. The SQN then returned to the war zone, operating out of Milne Bay from the 25 July 1942. Further moves were to Cairns via Horne Island in October 1942, back to Milne Bay in February 1943 and to Vivigani strip on Goodenough Island in June 1943.  The P-40E’s were replaced with P-40N’s in October 1943.  The SQN then became part of 78(F)Wing operating from Biak, Noemfoor, Moratai and Tarakan before returning to Australia at wars end in December 1945.

FABRIC WORKERs
  • J.R. Funnell,
  • Ray Harvey,
  • M.T. Corvisy,
  • W.D. Jones,
  • A.H. Diemar,
  • R.C. Atkins,
  • G.A. Hutcheon,
  • J.D. Fisher, and
  • G.A. Gray.
kittyhawk
75 squadron Kittyhawks on Tarakan Island in late June 1945. ~ Photo-RAAF.
pilot
Good colour photo from 1942 shows the flying gear worn at the time. ~ Photo Clyde Barnett USAAF.
pilot
WGCDR Geoff Atherton,
DSO DFC, CO 75SQN 1943
kittyhawk
Kittyhawk crashed at Tarakan 1945. ~ Photo-RAAF


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