No. 2 Squadron (RAAF) Consilio et manu ("To Advise and to Strike")

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About This Unit

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2 Squadron RAAF traced its history to No 2 Squadron Australian Flying Corps (/explore/units/169) in WW1.  It was disbanded in 1919.

 

It was not re-raised as an operational unit until 1937, when equipped with Avro Ansons, it undertook a maritime patrol role  on Australia's eastern seaboard.

It was re-equipped with Lockheed Hudson patrol bombers in May and June of 1940.

With tensions rising in the Pacific the Squadron re-located to Darwin in early December 1941, immediately prior to Japan's entry into the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbour and Manilla, and the invasion of the Malay Peninsula.  The squadron detached elements into the islands north of Australia, in particular to Ambon where the ill-fated 'Lark Force' was stationed.  2 Squadron began an aggressive campaign of raids against Japanese shipping, but casualties began to mount.  During the period May to October operating aginst Timor and Ambon, the squadron lost a total of 13 crews.  The squadron earned a US Presidential citation during this period.

Throughout 1942, the squadron mounted raids and re-supply missions in support of Sparrow Force on Timor.  Late in 1943, the squadron began converting to the Bristol Beaufort light bomber but shortly after recieving its aircraft, it was withdrawn from operations and converted once again, this time to the US B-25 medium bomber, a very capable aircraft.

It began operating its B25s in June 1944 against targets in West Timor.  Its primary targetting was against Japanese re-supply vessels in conjunction with the similarly equipped 18 Squadron.  Late in the war it moved to Balikpapan in Borneo and immediately post war flew a lot of missions in support of the repatriation of Prisoners of War.

It returned to Australia and was disbanded in May 1946, by which time it had sustained 176 personnel killed in action on operations, most in 1942.

2 Squadron was re-raised after the war, and equipped with Australian built Canberra jet bombers, saw service in the Malayan Emergency from 1956 and then again during the Vietnam War, where it once again earned a US Presidential Citation.

The squadron was disbanded in 1982 when the Canberras were withdrawn from service.  It was re-raised once again in 2000 to operate the Wedgetail Airborn Early Warning aircraft (a militarised Boeing 737) based at Williamtown in NSW.  The squadron deployed aircraft on operations to the Middle East in late 2014.

 

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Stories

Evacuation Flight gone wrong


Crew and passenger list for Lockheed Hudson Mk II A16-79

Lost at Koepang West Timor Tuesday January 20 1942

CUMING Robert Wylie Burns FLTLT 540 Pilot
MARTIN Robert Henry PLTOFF 401454
RICHARDS Philip Howard PLTOFF 407592
BESSELL-BROWNE John SGT 406205
BLAKE Albert Edwin SGT 4560
DEAN Henry Jennings SGT 3934
KELAHER Kevin Henry SGT 403287
CRAWFORD Ormond Frederick Ewald LAC 19485
MEARS Edmund Geoffrey LAC 19266
SMITH Vincent Harold LAC 30308
MORRIS Frank AC1 16698

Accident and loss, 1830hrs local time Koepang, Timor 20/01/42 when after taking off after being grossly overloaded aircraft evacuating RAAF Crews from impending invasion, climbed very steeply after take-off, reaching some 200-300 feet when the port engine burst into flames before stalling, wheeling over and crashing back onto airstrip and exploding into flames.

Rapid and incorrect trim adjustment or structural failure following loss of port engine deemed responsible.
SOC 19/02/42.
Crash witnessed by Geoffrey R Davey (JP) ex RAAF Retired as stated officially in 1991.

Source - ADF Serials website and RAAFDB website

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