No. 93 Squadron (RAAF) "Green Ghosts"

About This Unit

No. 93 Squadron (RAAF) SW Pacific WW2

No. 93 Squadron was formed at Kingaroy, Queensland, on 22 January 1945 to become part of the First Tactical Air Force.

It was equipped with Australian built Mk 21 Bristol Beaufighters, and received its first aircraft in January.  These aircraft (earlier versions) had been a key part of RAAF capacbility since 1942 and were highly regarded.  The Mk 21s were the final and best iteration of an excellent aircraft.  They were heavily armed fast manoueverable and relatively rugged.  They were nicknamed by the Japanese as "Whispering Death" because of the unusual sound of their radial engines.  They endered excellent service.

The squadron conducted training throughout February, March and April with a focus on gunnery and rocket practice. On 5 March, three No. 93 Squadron Beaufighters departed Oakey to escort No. 79 Squadron Spitfires to Morotai, which was becoming the Australians' forward operating base in the Indonesian archipeligo.

The squadron left Australia in May to participate in the Borneo Campaign, Operation Oboe. The advance echelon embarked on ships bound for Morotai on 11 May and arrived there on the 22nd of that month. A further echelon embarked for Labuan on 5 June. While No. 93 Squadron's ground party was established at Labuan shortly after 13 June, the aircraft could not be brought forward due to either the intermediate landing ground at Tarakan being unserviceable or Labuan's airstrip needing to be extended.  As a result, while No. 93 Squadron was originally intended to be operational at Labuan from 25 July as part of No. 86 Wing, its first two aircraft did not arrive there until 23 July. The remainder of the squadron departed from Kingaroy on 31 July and arrived at Labuan on 5 August, by which time the campaign was almost at an end. 

No. 93 Squadron saw only limited combat before the end of the war. The first aircraft to arrive at Labuan began flying combat sorties on 26 July in conjunction with No. 1 Squadron. On 7 August, eight Beaufighters attacked and sank what was believed to be an 800-ton oil tanker in the Tabuan River. It was later determined that the ship was the Rajah of Sarawak's private yacht!  One aircraft was lost in this attack, but its crew bailed out and made contact with the 9th Division on 20 August after being assisted by civilians. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 13 August, when four aircraft made an armed reconnaissance of Kuching aerodrome and another eight attacked Tromboul Airfield.

Minor activities then continued until the end of the year when orders came to return home.  Sadly the CO was killed in an accident in December. After the CO was killed at Labuan (Borneo) in December 1945, the squadron returned to Australia and re-formed at Narromine, before returning to Labuan.

The final task was to escort RAAF Mustang fighters to Japan in a series of long hop over water ferry flights, where the P51s were to form part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. (BCOF)l  The Beaufighters then returned to Narromine in NSW where the squadron subsequently disbanded on 22 August 1946.

References - 


Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Weston Creek: Aerospace Publications. ISBN 1-875671-15-3.
Odgers, George (1968) [1957]. Air War Against Japan 1943–1945. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 3 – Air. Volume 2 (reprint ed.). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. OCLC 246580191.
RAAF Historical Section (1995). Units of the Royal Australian Air Force. A Concise History. Volume 2 Fighter Units. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. ISBN 0-644-42794-9.