87 (PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE) SQUADRON RAAF (87PRS)
DURING WW2

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87 Squadron RAAF (87PRS) was formed at Coomalie Creek airfield in the Northern Territory on 10 September 1944. The unit was previously known as 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (1PRU) which had been equipped with one Mosquito and two CAC Wirraways. Its task was to provide photo reconnaissance support for the various Allied squadrons operating out of the airfields in northern Australia.

 

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87 Photo Reconnaissance Squadron - August 1945

 

 

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Rear Row L- R:- Kenneth Norman Dee, William Eric "Bill" Sudlow, Doug Batzlof, William Herbert "Bill" Reedy (427549),
Dave King, Jack Reynolds, John Kircher, Jack Hardwick, William David "Dave" Ephgrave

3rd Row:- Col Henry, Jack Dowling, Red Armour, John Gibbons, Buckets Bailey,
William Alexander "Bill" Maitland (407797), Al Davies, Jerry Kay, L. Williamson, Sam Jordan AVM, Owen Jones

2nd Row:- Ken Baijou, Ken Kearney, ? Tombury?, Neil Johnston,
Lloyd Law, Ken Sharpe, Gil Lumberg, Spencer Bell,

Front Row:- George Keith Granger (40646), ? ?, Jack McLeod, Les Crisp (Padre),
? ?, Ralph Strange, Buck Ramsey, Cyril Robert Loney

 

Another version of names of servicemen in the above photo is shown below. Some slight variations.


Photo:- Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia

Group portrait of officers and aircrew in front of a PR Mk XVI-Mosquito,
87 PR Squadron, RAAF, August 1945 at Coomalie Creek

 

 

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87 Photo Reconnaissance Squadron - see names in photo below
Leslie Peacock is 4th from the left in the front row.

 


Photo:- LAC William Dunstan

Group portrait of ground crew in front of a PR Mk XVI-Mosquito, 87 PR Squadron, RAAF, August 1945

 

 


Photo:- FLt N.G. ‘Bosko’ Johnston

Group portrait of aircrew in front of a PR Mk XVI-Mosquito,
87 PR Squadron, RAAF, August 1945 at Coomalie Creek

 

Same photo below with names of the servicemen


Photo:- FLt N.G. ‘Bosko’ Johnston

Group portrait of aircrew in front of a PR Mk XVI-Mosquito,
87 PR Squadron, RAAF, August 1945 at Coomalie Creek

 

87 Squadron received more Mosquitos which enabled them to increase their activities over places such as Macassar, Koepang and the Massel Islands. In April 1945, Mosquitos from 87 Squadron shadowed the Japanese cruiser Isuzu and four smaller warships. One Mosquito was spotted by a Japanese aircraft. The pilot of the Mosquito merely stepped on the gas and left the Japanese aircraft behind.

On 15 August 1945, Mosquito A52-609 from 87 Squadron (PR) took off on the last RAAF operational mission from an Australian mainland base during WWII. The crew of Mosquito A52-609, William Alexander "Bill" Maitland (407797) and William Herbert "Bill" Reedy (427549) were recalled from their mission after approximately one hour when word was received that WWII had ended.

87 Squadron relocated to Parkes in New South Wales in October 1945 where it was disbanded on 24 July 1946.

 

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Mosquito in hangar at Coomalie Creek airfield, 6 August 1945

 

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87 Squadron Crew - Coomalie Creek airfield
on 20 May 1945

 

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Mosquitos of 87PRS including A52-1

 

Crash of a Mosquito at Coomalie Creek on 7 March 1945

 

Crash of a Mosquito at Coomalie Creek on 3 August 1945

 

BOOK REFERENCES

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

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I'd like to thank David Devenish, John Peacock and Tony Porter for their assistance with this home page.

I'd like to thank Mary Maitland for her assistance with this web page. Her husband William Alexander "Bill" Maitland (407797) was a member of 87 Squadron RAAF during WWII.

I'd also like to thank Gay Smart, daughter of George Keith Granger for her assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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This page first produced 11 March 2002

This page last updated 11 June 2020