24 - 32 - 75 Squadrons R.A.A.F. Plaque

Location of 24 - 32 - 75 Squadrons R.A.A.F. Plaque

Shrine of Memories, ANZAC Square
Brisbane QLD 4000

Brass plaque commemorating the service of members of the 24th, 32nd and 75th Royal Australian Air Force Squadrons, during the Second World War.

To be confirmed
Conflicts commemorated
Second World War, 1939–1945
Memorial type
Commemorative services held
To be confirmed
Additional information

24 Squadron

24 Squadron was formed at Amberley in Queensland on 17 June 1940 and moved to Townsville to carry out maritime, reconnaissance, and training duties. In December 1941 the squadron moved to Rabaul in an attempt to provide some aerial defence for New Britain and the surrounding islands. On 20 January 1942 over one hundred Japanese aircraft attacked New Britain. 24 squadron tried to defend the island but it's efforts were futile. The squadron's eight Wirraways took-off to intercept the raiders but were immediately attacked by a large force of Mitsubishi Zeros. The Wirraways were no match for the Zeros. Within seven minutes, three Wirraways were shot down, two crash-landed, and another was damaged. The squadron only had two Wirraways and a Hudson left. It's sick and wounded were evacuated the next day on the remaining aircraft, while the rest of the personnel had to trek through the jungle on foot until they were rescued by Empire flying boats.

From July 1942, when the squadron moved to Bankstown, Sydney, it moved to New Guinea, in August 1943 and returned to Australia in March 1944.

Posted to Lowood in Queensland in June 1944, 24 Squadron became one of the first squadrons to be re-equipped with the Consolidated Liberator, a heavy bomber. They then moved to the Northern Territory, first to Manbulloo and then, in September, to Fenton. Between January and April 1945 attacks were made on power stations in east Java, an enemy convoy near Koepang, and troop concentrations at Tawao. A detachment of aircraft was also sent to Morotai to assist in raids on Labuan, Tanamon, Borneo, and islands in the Netherlands East Indies. In May 1945 the wing moved to Morotai

The Squadron was disbanded in May 1946.

Squadron Motto
Attack so that you may defend

Battle Honours
Pacific 1941-1945, Darwin 1941-1944, Rabaul 1942, New Guinea 1942-1944, New Britain 1943, Markham Valley 1943-1944, Morotai, Borneo 1945

75 Squadron

Formed at Townsville. On 21 March the squadron's first four Kittyhawk aircraft landed at the Seven Mile Strip, Port Moresby. The squadron was the sole fighter defence of Port Moresby during its 44-day deployment from 21 March to 3 May 1942. Thirty-nine enemy aircraft had been destroyed in the air or on the ground, and 54 damaged, for the loss of 12 pilots and 24 aircraft. The squadron returned to Townsville, and then moved to Kingaroy and Lowood to complete re-equipment and recuperation. Aircrew strength was supplemented by pilots who had seen service with Spitfire squadrons over Europe.

From 21 July 1942 the squadron flew to Gurney Field, Milne Bay, where it operated with 76 Squadron in the defence of Milne Bay. Lieutenant General Sydney Rowell the commander of New Guinea Force, noted in his report that the effort of the fighter squadrons was "the decisive factor" in the ultimate victory over the invading forces.

After the victory at Milne Bay, the squadron withdrew in September 1942 to Horn Island and Cairns, before returning to Milne Bay in January 1943, from where patrols were flown over the bay and Goodenough Island. The Squadron remained until 1945, when1 May 1945 the squadron's ground crew were part of forward troops landing at Tarakan. The squadron's aircraft also bombed Japanese facilities at Sandakan and supported Australian landings at Balikpapan.

During August 1945 the squadron undertook general flying and reconnaissance flying over prisoner-of-war camps. The aircraft were then flown back to Oakey, in Queensland, and the ground crew returned to Australia aboard HMS Glory, arriving in Sydney in December 1945. The unit was disbanded at Williamtown on 28 March 1948.

(Source: Australian War Memorial www.awm.gov.au)

Recorded by
QLD War Memorial Register
Date recorded
14 April 2009

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