44TH FIGHTER SQUADRON
13TH AIR FORCE
IN
AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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44th Fighter Squadron
The "Vampire Squadron"

The 13th Air Force was transferred from the South Pacific (SOPAC) area to the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) on 15 June 1944 to become part of the newly created Far East Air Forces (FEAF) under the command of L.t Gen. George C. Kenney. The 5th Air Force was also part of FEAF. Maj. Gen. St. Clair Street became the Commanding General of the 13th Air Force on that same day.

The pilots of the 44th Fighter Squadron would often travel to Auckland, New Zealand for their rest leave. They would also travel to Sydney, Australia. For the long journey to Sydney, they would travel the 2,500 miles from Sansapor, in New Guinea in a C-47 Dakota, spending an overnite stay at either Cairns or Townsville. The 44th Squadron had a rented house called "Red East" which was located near Sydney's famous Bondi Beach. Other popular locations for the pilots of the 44th Fighter Squadron was Sydney's Kings Cross and a popular Red Cross Officer's Club near Bondi Beach.

 


 

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"Vampire Squadron - The Saga of the 44th Fighter Squadron
in the South and Southwest Pacific"
by William  H. Starke

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

Starke, William H., "Vampire Squadron - The Saga of the 44th Fighter Squadron in the South and Southwest Pacific", 1985

 

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This page first produced 1 April 2001

This page last updated 04 June 2004