1 Squadron was first formed at Point Cook in Victoria on 1 July 1925. It was equipped with SE.5A, DH.9 and DH.9A aircraft. The squadron was later equipped with Wapitis, and then Bulldogs an Demons. The Squadron moved to Laverton in Victoria in June 1928.

When WW2 had started 1 Squadron was equipped with Avro Ansons Mk 1 aircraft. The squadron carried out routine convoy escort and patrol missions. In May 1941 the Ansons were replaced with Lockheed Hudsons. In about July 1941, the squadron was relocated to Sembawang on Singapore. They later moved to Kota Baharu in the northern part of the Malayan peninsula.

In the early hours of the 8 December 1941 (local time) 1 Squadron RAAF became the first RAAF unit to be involved in action against the Japanese who had just carried out a Naval bombardment of the defences at Kota Baharu. 1 Squadron immediately carried out aerial attacks on the Japanese landing force. They managed to sink two Japanese ships and damage another plus a number of Japanese landing barges. Two Hudson were shot down during this attack. I believe this attack by the Japanese actually started before the attack on Pearl Harbour.

1 Squadron's remaining aircraft were withdrawn to Kuantan and then to Sembawang where it combined with the remaining aircraft from 8 Squadron RAAF. They then moved to Palembang on the island of Sumatra in about February 1942. On 14 February 1942 the Japanese attacked Sumatra and the squadron retreated to Semplak on Java and then Kalidjati and finally Andir. In early March 1942 the squadron's remaining four Hudsons were flown back to Australia. 160 personnel from 1 Squadron were captured by the Japanese.

1 Squadron was restarted at Menangle on 1 December 1943. The squadron was equipped with Beaufort bombers. They then  moved to Gould in the Northern Territory from where they commenced reconnaissance and bombing operations over Timor and other locations on 20 March 1944.

On 8 May 1944, two of three Beauforts that left for a bombing operation against Penfui did not return. On some occasions they flew on bombing operations with the B-25 Mitchell bombers from 18 Squadron NEIF.

1 Squadron relocated to Kingaroy in south west Queensland in January 1945 where they converted to Australian built Mosquito FB.VI attack aircraft. The squadron then relocated to Morotai in May 1945. They then moved to Labuan in June/July 1945 where things were fairly quiet until the war ended.

The squadron returned to Narromine in Australia in December 1945 and was disbanded at Narromine on 7 August 1946.


"Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force"
by Steve Eather


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This page first produced 23 May 2002

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