PATROL WING 10, US NAVY (PATWING 10)
LATER KNOWN AS FLEET AIR WING 10 (FAW-10)
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 12 March 2003

 

Patrol Wing 10, US Navy (PatWing 10) was established at Naval Station Cavite in the Philippines in December 1940. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, PatWing 10 relocated to Ambon on 28 December 1941. On 15 January 1942, PatWing 10 relocated again to Soerabaja. 

Patrol Squadron 101 (VP101) was a part of PatWing Ten. Lieutenant Deede was on the Ambon raid of 27 December 1941 with VP101. 

During the Japanese air raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942, Lt. Robert McMahon of the 33 Pursuit Squadron (Provisonal), took off and was immediately attacked by a Japanese aircraft. He bailed out of his P-40 over Darwin Harbour and was rescued by some US Navy personnel from Patwing 10 who had just evacuated their strafed and now burning Catalinas (see below).

19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour PBY Catalina #4 (BUAERO Number: 1214, ex- 102-P-27, ex- 102-P-12, ex- 1-P-12) of Patwing 10, destroyed by Japanese aircraft
19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour PBY Catalina #8 (BUAERO Number: 1233, ex- 101-P-8,  ex- 18-P-8) of Patwing 10, destroyed by Japanese aircraft
19 Feb 42 In Darwin Harbour PBY Catalina #41 (ex- Y-41) of Patwing 10, destroyed by Japanese aircraft

After a rift between USAFIA and ABDACOM, in mid February 1942, General Wavell and A.M. Peirse commandeered all fighter aircraft enroute along the "Brereton Route" and ordered that they be diverted to Perth in Western Australia for partial disassembly and shipment by boat to Java. 140 Kittyhawks (Warhawks) were loaded onto the old aircraft tender USS Langley and the freighter USS Seawitch headed for Tjilatjap in Java. Thirty three P-40's intended for the 49th Pursuit Group were diverted to Perth for this operation. The whole operation was very confused and valuable pilots were scattered all over Australia. On 27 February 1942 USS LANGLEY was attacked south of Tilatjap by Japanese aircraft and was so badly damaged it had to be torpedoed by an escort. USS LANGLEY was actually one of the support ships for the US Navy's Patrol Wing Ten. The PW10 War Diary for 27 February 1942 lists the names of the 31 USAAC pilots missing (none survived the War) as a result of the attack on USS Langley. There was one 1st Lt. and thirty 2nd Lts. Also lost were 12 crew chiefs from the 35th Pursuit Group, but their names are not recorded in the above War Diary.

The following two Catalina's of Patrol Wing 10 were destroyed on 3 March 1942 during a Japanese bombing raid on Broome.

Convair PBY Catalina # 6 (PBY-4 BUAERO Number: 1227, ex- 101-P-26, ex-102-P-26) of Patrol Wing 10, Lieutenant (jg) Ira W. Brown.
Convair PBY Catalina #7 (PBY-4 BUAERO Number: 1237, ex-101-P-13), of Patrol Wing 10, Lieutenant (jg) Leroy C. Deede.

PatWing 10 relocated to the Swan River near Perth in Western Australia on 7 March 1942. 

Lieutenant Deede also flew one of the two PatWing Ten PBY Catalina's which made a long distance rescue of key personnel from Corrigedor in April 1942. The rescue, codenamed Operation Flight Gridiron, started from Perth and ended at Perth. (see Messimer, 1985, chap. 13).

The War Diary of Commander, Patrol Wing Ten states for Wednesday 17June 1942:-

'Lieutenant (jg) LeRoy C. Deede, A-V(N), U.S.N.R., Patrol Squadron One Hundred and One, while on an extended flight to Sydney, Australia, was reported killed at 1628 K, June 17, 1942 at the Bankstown Airdrome, Sydney, as the result of an aircraft accident. The cause of the accident was reported as engine failure of the SBD-3 plane which he was piloting, with a subsequent spin from 500 feet altitude.' 

Dwight Messimer (In the Hands of Fate, Naval Institute Press, Maryland, 1985, p. 309) says that Leroy Deede ' ... was killed in Australia when the Douglas SBD "Dauntless" he was flying crashed on take-off.'

While they were still at Perth, PatWing 10 was redesignated to become Fleet Air Wing 10 (FAW-10) on 1 November 1942.

USN Patrol Squadron 101 (VP-101), of PatWing 10, under the command of Lieutenant Lauren E. Johnson arrived at Palm Island Naval Air Station with 8 PBY Catalinas in early December 1943. It is assumed that they would have been attached to Fleet Air Wing 17 (FAW-17) while they were at Palm Island Naval Air Station. VP-101 relocated to Perth at the end of December 1943.

FAW-10 relocated from Perth to Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands on 1 September 1944. FAW-10 then relocated to Leyte, in the Philippines on 17 October 1944 and operated from the tender vessel Currituck (AV 7). On 30 November 1944, FAW-10 relocated to Jinamoc Island in the Philippines where it was based on shore. 

On 15 December 1944, FAW-10 relocated to Tacloban in the Philippines and then on 14 April 1944 they relocated to Puerto Princess, Palawan.

Fleet Air Wing Ten was disbanded at NAB Sangley Point in the Philippines on 7 June 1947. 

 

Forced landing of a PBY-5 Catalina (#04431)
approx. 60 miles north of Perth
on 23 January 1943

 

Heavy landing of a PBY-5 Catalina
at Geraldton, WA on 18 April 1942

 

Crash of a Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless of Patrol Squadron 101
at Bankstown airfield, near Sydney on 17 June 1942
Lieutenant Deede killed

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

War Diary of Commander, Patrol Wing Ten

Dwight Messimer, "In the Hands of Fate", Naval Institute Press, Maryland, 1985 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Lindsay Peet for his assistance with this home page.

 

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This page first produced 12 March 2003

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