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54 Squadron RAF originally served in Britain during the early part of World War 2 but was relocated to Darwin airfield in Northern Australia in 1943 and then moved to Livingstone airfield in 1944.

On 2 March 1943, six Japanese Zeros attacked Coomalie Creek airfield in the Northern Territory. Three of the Zeros were claimed as shot down by Spitfires of 54 Squadron RAF over the sea. They also damaged three other Zeros.

Three Spitfires from 54 Squadron RAF intercepted a Japanese "Dinah" aircraft carrying out a high-level reconnaissance flight in the Drysdale area not far from  Truscott airfield on 20 July 1944. They managed to shoot the "Dinah" down. This was apparently the last Japanese aircraft to be shot down over Australian soil during WW2.


Crash of Spitfire A58-42 (BR536) in the water
off West Point, Darwin, NT on 2 May 1943


Crash of Spitfire A58-309 near Pine Creek,
Northern Territory NT on 18 April 1944


54 SQN(I/F)

ASCOT VALE 13.08.42 24.08.42 Show Ground Building EPSOM Rd. MELBOURNE
RICHMOND 24.08.42 13.01.43 Airfield Temp Huts PERCIVAL St WINDSOR
SYDNEY 13.01.43 25.01.43 SYDNEY
PARAP 25.01.43 09.05.44 Airfield Temp Huts 2 MILES St. DARWIN
POTSHOT 09.05.44 19.05.44 Airfield Tents  EXMOUTH GULF
LIVINGSTONE 19.05.44 23.10.44 Airfield Huts.Tent 34 MILES Sth. DARWIN
PARAP 23.10.44 30.10.45 Airfield Temp Huts 2 MILES Sth. DARWIN
MELBOURNE 30.10.44 31.10.45 Unit was disbanded


54 Squadron Commanding Officers

ASCOT VALE Sqn.Ldr. GIBBS E.M 13.08.42 24.08.42
RICHMOND Sqn.Ldr. GIBBS E.M 24.08.42 13.01.43
SYDNEY Sqn.Ldr. GIBBS E.M 13.01.43 25.01.43
PARAP Sqn.Ldr. GIBBS E.M 25.01.43 11.01.44
PARAP Sqn.Ldr. NEWTON R.B. 11.01.44 09.05.44
POTSHOT Sqn.Ldr. NEWTON R.B. 09.05.44 19.05.44
LIVINGSTONE Sqn.Ldr. NEWTON R.B. 19.05.44 23.10.44
PARAP Sqn.Ldr NEWTON R.B 23.10.44 30.10.45
PARAP Sqn.Ldr NICHOLAS J.B.H 01.07.45 30.10.45
PARAP F-Lt GOSSLAND D.M 30.10.45 31.10.45
MELBOURNE F-Lt GOSSLAND D.M 31.10.44 31.10.45


54 Squadron Aircraft

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V, Mk.VIII (Unit Code KL)


A Spitfire over Darwin
54 Squadron RAF and Flying Officer William Torrens Hinds
by Greg Blackmore



Subject:   54 RAF Squadron
Date:           Thu, 1 Nov 2001 22:01:50 -0500
From:           Jim Gossland <jimgoss@mindspring.com>

I was with 54 Squadron in Darwin, but have no recollection of a Batchelor Airfield. We were at Darwin Airfield, and at one time I took a flight of three Spits to Old Drysdale Mission Strip, about 200 miles west of Darwin on the coast, where we were stationed for a few days in 1943, I think - I can check my logbook for that. There was myself and Freddie Meakin and a third pilot. I'm afraid I can't remember.

Unfortunately, Freddie bought it about two weeks later back at Darwin taking off from a road strip. Your URL mentions a few names I remember: Nicholas and Newton and PARAP F-Lt GOSSLAND D.M. That's me! But what does the PARAP mean? and how do I rate a mention when there's no word of Sid Linnaird, the C.O. after Newton and before Nicholas?

Please follow up when you've time, and fill me in.

Best wishes
D.M. "Jim" Gossland



Subject:     RAF 54/Batchelor Airfield questions
Date:              Thu, 26 Oct 2000 15:57:38 +0400
From:            "Peter Enright esq." <peter.enright@co.ru>

I am writing a film script which includes the Spitfires of RAF 54 Squadron that landed at Batchelor Airfield in Jan. 1943 (?). Can you supply any info about this Squadron in Australia during WWII (or direct me to a website that can) and do you know the present condition of this base? Is it abandoned, off-limits or still functioning as an airfield etc. Any info would be helpful.

Thank you in advance,

Peter Enright
Aussie writer in Moscow



Subject: Names
From: kaz/peter gropler [grop01@bigpond.com]
Sent: Friday, 23 September 2005 11:54 AM
To:  Peter Dunn

While I was researching my grandfathers history I came across your site......some other names that were at Darwin at this time with 54 Squadron (Spitfires) were......William Marshall.....George Thomas.......Jim Kinnear....Tommy Madden....

I'm sorry I cannot give you their ranks . If you find any information on these people please feel free to email me. I'm looking more for information on William Marshall i.e. like his service record could use any help that you can offer .




I'd like to thank Dennis Whiley for his assistance with this home page.

I'd like to thank John Birch for his assistance with this home page. John has an RAF logbook originally belonging to Squadron Leader Robert Newton of 54 Squadron RAF. Other names mentioned in it are Keith Gamble and Beaton.


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 22 September 2002

This page last updated 07 October 2018