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No 31 Beaufighter Squadron Print Page Print this page

17-March-2015
17-March-2015
Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

Plaque commemorates those who served with No 31 Beaufighter Squadron during World War Two. 

No. 31 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force  (RAAF) airbase support squadron. It was formed in August 1942 and disbanded in July 1946 after seeing action against the Japanese in the South West Pacific theatre of World War Two.  . During the war, it operated the Bristol Beaufighter, which it operated in long-range fighter and ground-attack missions. The squadron was re-raised for its current role in July 2010.

Location

Address:Federal Highway, RAAF Memorial Grove, Majura, 2609
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.211571
Long: 149.190164
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW2
Approx. Event Start Date:1942
Approx. Event End Date:1946

Dedication

Front Inscription

31  BEAUFIGHTER SQUADRON RAAF

THE BEAUFIGHTER WAS A TWIN ENGINE ATTACK FIGHTER, VERY FAST AT SEA LEVEL, WITH POWERFUL CANNON AND MACHINE GUN ARMANENT. THE FINE PILOT`S COCKPIT COMBINED WITH NAVIGATOR NEAR THE TAIL, WHO ALSO HAD A 303 MACHINE GUN. THE TWO UNIQUE ENGINES WERE SO QUIET THAT THE BEAUFIGHTER BECAME KNOWN TO THE JAPANESE AS " WHISPERING DEATH."  

215 BEAUFIGHTERS WERE INITIALLY SUPPLIED BY THE U.K AND SUBSEQUENTLY 365 WERE BUILT IN AUSTRALIA. 

IN THE DARK DAYS OF 1942, AUSTRALIA WAS UNDER ATTACK BY JAPANESE FORCES BASED IN THE INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO TO OUR NEAR NORTH, IN SEPTEMBER THAT YEAR, 31 SQUADRON WAS FORMED AT WAGGA WAGGA IN NSW AND EQUIPPED WITH ITS BEAUFIGHTERS. QUICKLY READY, IT MOVED TO ITS OPERATIONAL BASE AT COOMALIE CREEK NEAR DARWIN TO TAKE THE WAR TO ENEMY, FLYING ITS FIRST ATTACK MISSION ON 17 NOVEMBER 1942. 

FIGHTER COVER WAS PROVIDED FOR THE NAVY AND AUSTRALIAN SQUADRONS SUCH AT CATALINA FLYING BOATS AND THE DUTCH N.E.I. MITCHELL BOMBER GROUP. 

AIRCRAFT WERE MAINTAINED IN DIFFICULT TROPICAL CONDITIONS AND IT WAS ONLY THE DEDICATED AND TIRELESS WORK OF THE GROUND CREWS THAT ENABLED THE BEAUFIGHTERS TO BE READY FOR ACTION.      

AS THE JAPANESE RETREATED, THE SQUADRON MOVED FORWARD, FIRST TO NOEMPOOR, IN NEW GUINEA, THENCE MOROTAI, SOUTH OF THE PHILLIPINES, AND IN 1945 TO TARAKAN, BORNEO. DURING THESE OPERATIONS THE SQUADRON OPERATED UNDER THE COMMAND OF 77 (ATTACK) WING IN CONJUNCTION WITH 22 AND 30 BEAUFIGHTER SQUADRONS. 

IN TOTAL, THE SQUADRON ACCOUNTED FOR 122 JAPANESE AIRCRAFT SHOT DOWN OR DESTROYED ON THE GROUND AND 14 SHIPS SUNK OR DESTROYED AND 2,662 OPERATIONS WERE CARRIED OUT. 

SEVENTY NINE OF THE SQUADRONS PILOTS, NAVIGATORS AND GROUND CREW WERE LOST. 

31 SQUADRON COMMENDS OUR HISTORY TO ALL AUSTRALIANS IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO FOUGHT AND DIED IN DEFENCE OF OUR COUNTRY. MAY AUSTRALIANS OF TODAY LOOK BACK IN PRDIE AND SEEK TO NO MORE ABOUT THOSE WHO SERVED AUSTRALIA IN WW11. 

                                     LEST WE FORGET


 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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