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The Officer complement of 30 Squadron (Pilots, Observers and Intelligence Officers), Bohle River, Queensland, August 1942.

Top: Stephens, Sandford, Spooner (O), Harvey (O), Wild, Willard, King (IO), Mason (O).

Centre: Roe, Williams (IO), Sims (IO), Holmes (IO), Hutchison (IO), Maguire (O).

Lower: Welsh, Moran-Hilford, McKew, Walker, Parker, Uren, Little, Brasenor


30 Squadron RAAF was formed at Richmond on 9 March 1942 under the command of Squadron Leadr C.R. Read. The Squadron was outfitted with Bristol Beaufighters.


Crash of a 30 Squadron Beaufighter
at Mount Dissapointment in Victoria
on 5 August 1942


In mid August 1942, the Squadrom relocated to Bohle River airfield just north of Townsville. While at the "Bohle", they carried out dummy attacks on shipping, the likely action they would encounter when they moved to New Guinea.

On 6 September 1942, three Beaufighters from 30 Squadron were deployed to Milne Bay. The next day, two of these aircraft attacked some Japanese shipping off New Guinea. During September 1942, after about five or six weeks at Bohle River airfield, the rest of 30 Squadron moved to Ward's Strip at Port Moresby. An advance party under "Curley" Wearne had prepared the camp for the arrival of the rest of the Squadron. The Squadron had 12 aircraft with at least the first six in reserve.

In July 1943, they repositioned to Goodenough Island where they stayed until November 1943.


Crash of a Beaufighter at Rockhampton on 29 March 1945


"Whispering Death - A History of the RAAF's Beaufighter Squadrons"
by Neville Parnell

Page 12
On 17 August (1942) the Squadron moved to Bohle River, near Townsville, Queensland, in preparation for the move to Port Moresby, where it was to be based........

On 6 September, three Beaufighters arrived at Fall River, Milne Bay, to assist the Kittyhawks of 75 Squadron and 76 Squadron and 6 Squadron Hudsons, already operating in the area.   The following day, a Hudson crew sighted an enemy cruiser and destroyer 27 kilometres ENE of Cape Karitahua on Normanby Island.  Hudsons, Beauforts (from 100 Squadron) and the Beaufighters were assigned to attack the ships with the Kittyhawks operating top cover.  During take-off, A19-13 piloted by Vial ran off the strip and hit a Hudson parked in a dispersal bay, completely demolishing it..........

30 Squadron moved to Port Moresby under the control of the Fifth Air Force USAAF on 12 September and established itself on Ward's Strip, 8 kilometres north-east of town. "A" flight had been despatched to Fall river the previous day.


By N.M. Parnell & C.A. Lynch

Page 81
On the afternoon of 7 September (1942) six Beauforts of No. 100 Squadron (flown up from Laverton) and three Beaufighters from No. 30 Squadron (from Bohle River, Queensland) joined aircraft from Nos. 75 Squadron and 76 Squadron (eight Kittyhawks each) and three Hudsons from No. 6 Squadron in an attack on an enemy cruiser and a destroyer 110 kilometres off Cape Karitahua, Normanby Island. One Beaufighter (A19-13) crashed on take-off (See Note 1 below), but the other two diverted the warships' fire (No. 30 Squadron's first combat mission), while the Beauforts made torpedo runs, all of which missed.....

Page 81
On 12 September No. 30 Squadron moved to Port Moresby, from Bohle River, and five days later the Beaufighters attacked a concentration of enemy barges at Sanananda Point and along Buna Beach.....

NOTE 1:- Details of this crash are covered on 107 of the excellent book "Whispering Death - A History of the RAAF's Beaufighter Squadrons" by Neville Parnell (see above).   Beaufighter A19-13 (T4943) piloted by Vial, ran off the strip during take-off at Fall River, Milne Bay, New Guinea and hit a parked Hudson bomber in a dispersal bay on 7 September 1942.  This was the first operational sortie for 30 Squadron.



"Black Jack - 50 Years as a Pilot; 1935-1985"
By Group Captain Brian Walker

Beaufighter - Whispering Death, The Forgotten Warhorse


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This page first produced 11 July 1998

This page last updated 13 January 2020