No. 71 Squadron (Reserve) RAAF formed at Lowood airfield in early 1942. Reserve squadrons were in Cadre form only and relied on aircrew provided from other flying units. No. 71 Squadron aircrew were allocated for duty with the squadron from No. 8 Service Flying Training School at Bundaberg in Queensland.

Avro Anson W 2053 of 71 Squadron (Reserve) RAAF crashed on Mt. Nebo on 7 August 1942 whilst returning to its base at Lowood airfield from a sea patrol off Bundaberg. 

At approximately 4.10am on Friday 14 May 1943 the hospital ship A.H.S. Centaur, ablaze with lights, was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-177 south east of Cape Moreton. Of the 322 persons on board, only 64 survived. An Avro Anson from 71 Squadron RAAF based at Lowood Airfield, spotted survivors in the water at 1400 hours on 15 May 1943 and radioed United States destroyer, USS Mugford, to "pick up survivors in water ahead".


Subject:      Units of the Royal Australian Air Force
Date:              Sun, 11 Jan 1998
From:              Lorie Allen   (tritnmia@erols.com)

Dear Mr. Peter Dunn:

We have noted your interesting RAAF Home Page, and thought that you may be able to respond to the following question.

In the book "Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History, Volume 4, Maritime and Transport Units", compiled by the RAAF Historical Section, using original records, there is a narrative of patrol action off the east coast of Australia during March, 1943.

As this book appears by its title to be "A Concise History", could you please help us to know the Latitude(?) and Longitude(?) for the following reference contained on page 88 for 71 Squadron, of a reported contact with an unknown submarine on March 28, 1943, which reads:

"On the 28th, Walesby and his crew of Sergeant P.K Yates and Flight Sergeant H.A. Howes reported being fired on by a similar vessel."

Could you, please, help us to obtain more details concerning this incident reported by this crew of 71 Squadron?

We do not know who else we might contact.

Thank you in advance for your kind attention to our question.


L. Allen




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This page first produced 11 January 1998

This page last updated 24 March 2013