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Subject:      18 Squadron
Date:               Thu, 16 Nov 2000 10:54:44 +1100
From:             Brian Coleman <>

Hi Peter,

This is a very informative site, however I must correct the name of the above Squadron. I served with the RAAF component as an Aircraft Electrician from July 1944 at Batchelor, to October 1945 at Balikpapan, (via Jacquinot Bay and Morotai). The Squadron was known as No.18(NEI) Squadron. the AF was not present in its title. Also the Association which was formed in 1984 by Gordon Wallace, a former Despatch Rider with the Squadron was known as -- 18 Squadron (NEI-RAAF) Association inc. Sadly this Association had to relinquish its Incorporation status last year due to a lack of nominations for Office Bearers and Committee. We are now a Social group only, meeting for luncheons etc., I was the last Newsletter Editor for the Association.

Sadly our last President, Paul Westerveldt died in office last year, and Gordon Wallace who was our first Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and our last Patron, died in August of this year.

Incidently we still claim that Gus Winkel crew sank that submarine off Moruya.

Hope this is of some interest to you.


Brian Coleman



Subject:      Beaufort 292
Date:               Mon, 20 Nov 2000 15:43:26 +1100
From:             Brian Coleman <>

Greetings again Peter
Ref. Beaufort No. 292

I have been going through my diaries for the period I spent at No.1 OTU, Bairnsdale and East Sale, from Feb. 1943 to my posting to 18 (NEI) Squadron in June 1944.

I was attached to the 40 hourly inspection hanger at East Sale, after moving there from Bairnsdale on 22 March 1943

The first reference I have to 292 is Tue. 18 May 1943 when I watched the run-up. (Presumably after an inspection).

Sat. 22 May 1943 I did an inspection on the propeller motors.

Sun 23 May 1943 I tested fire extinguishers, boost coils, lights, fuses, batteries, etc.

292 does not appear in my diary again until 26 Nov 1943 when I did a service on the Aircraft, and again on Sunday 28 Nov 1943 when according to my diary, I put in Batteries, Tested Bomb Gear, Turret and other items , including connecting up the Petrol tank to the electrical system. This must have been after a major inspection.

Monday 24 January 1944 I have mention of trouble with the Boost motor. I was still working on it as follows,

_ Wed. 26 Jan 1944 trouble with U/C switches.

Sun. 30 Jan. Service check, but no indication what for.

There is no further mention of 292 during the remainder of my time at OTU. I do have in my possession (if I can only remember where I put it.) a complete list of Beaufort Aircraft built, and in service, in Australia, including delivery dates and their ultimate fate.

I will continue looking and hope that when I find it there may be a reference to 292.

Hope this is of interest to you


Brian Coleman



Subject:    Beaufort 292
Date:             Thu, 23 Nov 2000 14:17:12 +1100
From:           Brian Coleman <>

G'day Peter,

Sorry that I can't add to the information which you already have on 292. I found the list of Beauforts but it only confirms what is on your site.

Does not mention a forced landing or any other trouble, and I never recorded the numbers of crashed aircraft, which I now regret, however, I was wondering whether the work I did on the aircraft over the period 26 Jan 1944 to Sun 30 1944 was a result from a forced landing, as I was apparantly working on the undercarriage if I was having trouble with the U/C switches.


Brian Coleman



Subject:     Vultee crash at Batchelor(?)
Date:              Thu, 23 Nov 2000 14:59:53 +1100
From:            Brian Coleman <>


I have no record in my diary of a crash at Batchelor Strip on 31 October 1944. We, 18 (NEI) Squadron, had aircraft returning from deployment to Truscott on that day.

14 aircraft left Batchelor on 26 Oct and returned 31 Oct. Three of these were from 4 Flight where I was the Aircraft Electrician. (No's N5-166, N5-176 & N5-211).

Does this help in determining the location of the Vultee crash?


Brian Coleman


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This page first produced 21 November 2000

This page last updated 08 December 2017