Camden,Kiriwina Is,Goodenough Is,Woodlark Is,Cape Gloucester,Nadzab,Aitape,Hollandia,Noemfoor,Morotai,Tarakan
The Indonesian Government are organizing Sail Morotai 2012 event, where the event culmination will be on Sept.15, 2012,
located at the Morotai Island in North Maluku Province. Indonesia.Any veterans of RAAF units who served at Morotai during 1944-45 are invited together with their families . The Event culmination will be Sept.15, 2012 where President Yudhoyono will be attending a service.
Anyone wishing to attend this event from 78 squadron should contact us as soon as possible . This year’s Sail Indonesia regatta which will take place from June through September 2012 will highlight the island of Morotai in North Maluku, site of the Battle of Morotai waged under Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur.
Highlight of Sail Morotai 2012 will be on 14th September held at the historic Daruba Bay, which will be attended by President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Almost to the day , - back in 1944 on 15 September at the height of World War 2, Allied Forces from the United States and Australia under Commander General Douglas MacArthur. landed on Morotai and defeated the small Japanese troop remaining stationed there.
Although the Japanese had landed on Morotai earlier and began constructing an airfield here, they abandoned the airfield to set up base on the larger neighbouring island of Halmahera, leaving only a small batallion on Morotai.
From that day until the end of World War 2, Morotai became the base of the Allied Forces where a large air and naval base of the Allied Forces in South West Pacific was built to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation. For more detailed description of Morotai and the strategic position of Morotai in World War 2 see Destination Morotai.
78 SQUADRON ASSOCIATION NEWS
78 Squadron Association are very sad to report the passing of Robert S.Osment
Bob "Ossie" Osment was responsible for the formation of the Squadron and was its first commanding officer .
A great man, well respected by all , a great Australian pilot .
Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends from all of the 78 Squadron Association members .
400629 F/L Robert “Ossie” Sydney Osment DFC b. Melbourne, Vic 1/2/1921
The successful pilots from the “Big-Do” taken the afternoon after the combat.
Starting from left, leaning against the jeep Bob Osment, Geoff Giles (on jeep bonnet), Denny Baker (in drivers seat), Cliff Smith, John Griffith, Bluey O’Connell, Don Smyth (behind Bluey), Ian MacKenzie and Norm Blesing; front row L-R: Mopsy Gadsden, Dick Cowley, Gordon White, Dagwood Harvey and Ray Barker.
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FighterWorld at Williamtown are wanting to build a replica of a P40 Kittyhawk
If any one knows of any pieces of a Kittyhawk , they would be very pleased to hear
from you . Please contact
49 Medowie Road, Williamtown
just off Nelson Bay Road
100 m from RAAF Base Main Gate
(02) 4965 1810 BH
78 SQ Association has supplied a wing piece from aircraft retrievd from Tadji PNG ,
belived to be that of A29 -414 "Come In Suckers "
it is proudly on display .
"This Smuttee Squadron" by Gordon Clark
A limited edition 500 plus page book The history of 78 Squadron. from formation to disbandment.
available now from 78 Squadron Association
An Excerpt from back cover of "This Smuttee Squadron "
"This Smuttee Squadron was 78 Fighter Squadron, with Smuttee being the code name used by the squadron after
they joined the war in the Pacific, in 1943. They were formed at Camden in July of that same year, but by
April 1948 they were gone.Relegated not to the history books or the annals of the Australian War Memorial, but to
the backs of the minds of the young men who served in her faithfully for just over four years and eight months.
For those short few years 78 Squadron, along with her sister Kittyhawk squadrons, was prosecuting its role in the war
on Australia√ēs doorstep.Here they were involved in the last major air combat by the RAAF in the South West Pacific Area.
A combat notable for two amazing individual air combats, one of which produced a record three Japanese aircraft shot down
in a single engagement.This engagement also produced the highest number of enemy aircraft shot down by an
Australian squadron in this theatre of the war. Just a week after this combat, the squadron was involved in destroying the last
enemy aircraft by the RAAF in the New Guinea campaign. Later in 1944 a pilot, by the name of Len Waters, joined
the squadron when they were based at Noemfoor Island. He is the only aboriginal pilot to serve in the RAAF since its inception
in 1921 up till the time of the publication of this book. Unfortunately from the end of 1944 the Australians squadrons,
like the AIF units, were essentially relegated to the back blocks of the Pacific war. So they ended their war
at Tarakan Island fighting in an operation, which was totally unnecessary and wasted too many Australian lives.
After the war 78 was reduced to cadre status along the other two squadrons of 78 Fighter Wing. However, its fortunes
were soon revived and the squadron was built up once again and they converted onto the North American
Mustang fighter. Here 78 Squadron was essentially an operational training unit that provided many pilots with
invaluable experience, as they went on to distinguished careers flying Mustangs and Meteors in the Korean
War of 1950-53. Of the five seventies (75 through to 79) fighter squadrons
formed by the RAAF during World War 2 to fight in the South West Pacific Area,
only one of those five squadrons hasn√ēt been reformed to this day.
It is of course 78 Fighter Squadron, this Smuttee Squadron.
Their story needs to be told."
Contact us to purchase your copy of
"This Smuttee Squadron"
email : admin at 78 squadron dot com dot au
The "Big Do"
Limited Edition Painting Reproduction
limited edition collectors print of painting by Teneille Chapman is ready for your wall. The print on highest quality matte Signed by 42 + men of the sqaudron , including some famous names has been acquired with permission of the relevant families . This exciting print is the only official memorabilia ever created for this mighty squadron which was made to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the squadron formation .This painting entitled √íThe Big Do√ď is a graphical reproduction of a famous event that will be forever immortalised in this print. For those who don't know of it, here is an account.
Saturday 3rd June 1944 was a significant day for both 78 Squadron and the RAAF. A day that has a very significant historical impact and needs to publicized much more. For the RAAF it was the last major air combat that any of its squadrons were to be involved in in the SWPA for WW2! It was for them the largest number of enemy aircraft shot down in a single engagement in the SWPA and it provided the highest number of aircraft shot down by an individual RAAF pilot in that area of operations! For 78 Squadron it was the first blooding in air combat, of only two air combats they were to be involved in during their nearly five year history. Further, although it was a great squadron effort it did produce a couple of fine individual performances. Also it proved that although there were only a few instances for the RAAF fighter squadrons to be involved in large air combats in the SWPA, 78 along with her sister squadrons 75, 76, 77 and 86 were more than up to the task and easily the equal of their counterparts the USAAF squadrons!
On that Saturday 78 Squadron were detailed to give cover over the landing craft and US Navy at Biak Island. The first aspect that needs to be stressed is that the pilots of 78 Squadron were out numbered by more than 2 to 1. Although 16 Kittyhawks were detailed to take part only 15 made it to Biak Island as one had engine problems and had to abort. From the Japanese perspective there were some 31 aircraft comprising 22 Zeros from 202nd and 381st Kokutais and 9 Judys from 503 Kokutai. Despite these overwhelming numbers the Australians took the fight to them and by taking the initiative, pressing home their attacks and providing top cover at all times they prevailed, shooting down 7 fighters and 3 dive bombers for the loss of a Kittyhawk and its pilot F/Sgt Happy Harnden. So for the RAAF this was the largest number of Japanese aircraft shot down in a single engagement by a RAAF fighter squadron.
There are many events in this combat that could be covered or committed to canvas but two deserve mention. The first is of F/Sgt Cowley. He took part in the opening combat (of which the painting depicts) of attacking the Judy dive bomber, that was credited to F/L Osment. Dick Cowley with is wingman F/Sgt Harnden then took on 4 Zeros in which he severely damaged one and shot down another breaking up that attack by the Japanese. Later alone in the sky he turned into 2 Zeros that were attacking his wingman and drove them off. A fine individual performance. The second pilot that needs a mention is F/O Gordon White. Prior to the combat he had seen service with 3 Squadron RAAF in the desert and there had shot down an Italian MC202. This experience stood him in good stead in this engagement and he accounted for 1 Zero and 2 Judy destroyed! This makes him the only RAAF pilot in the SWPA to shot down so many Japanese aircraft in one combat. Even the great Clive Caldwell managed only 2 in a single combat in the SWPA. Nothing has been said about this individual effort in 66 years and it is time to rectify that situation. Perhaps it is because about 2 months later Gordon White was dead. There were numerous efforts by S/L Brydon to obtain a DFC for F/O White but it wasn't forth coming.
As can be seen from this brief summary 3rd June 1944 was a very significant day for 78 Squadron and the RAAF and the story needs to be told. Lest we forget. A week later 78 Squadron was involved in their second and last air combat, but that is another story waiting to be told.
We invite you to pre order your limited edition print from 78 sq Association with the attached order form. As your advance order will enable us to keep the print run cost down .
NB. This is the only 78 Squadron printed memorabilia produced, we encourage you to support the running of the association by your purchase,
The Big Do Limited Edition numbered quality print
pencil illustration of "The Big Do" scene these pencil illustrations are no longer available
78 Squadron Association
PO Box 3063
St Pauls NSW 2031
What is the size of our painting? Just the painting itself without the borders is 43.5 x 67.0 cm but a little bigger with signatures.
The end result of these sales would be a profit which would be denoted to 78 Sqn Association for something in the future,
like a TV documentary which is well over due.
We look forward to your support to view a thumb nail of the painting click here
2010 Anzac Day March
started off with the spiting of rain ,we assembled in our usual place and we help up yet again , by the poor coordination of the event organisers.Too many marching bands and way too many Navy proceed the RAAF, its pathetic that they cant organise this better . Lucky theres no war now ! Ninety year old men having to stand around in the street waiting for marching Koalas and able body Navy and others put us away just after midday . Still the crowds were there cheering us on . Dick Smithin his usual positrion with his sign "Thank You ". Thank you Dick ! Even tho it was late we managed to slip by the ABC cameras , but housr later we watched the tel;ecast and they didnt even mention 78 squadron . We'll be writing to them , I suppose we were lucky to get by in time for the the telecast as some behind us missed out completely. Still for family and relatives outsideof Sydney who were watching to see grandfather march would have been absolutley ropeable to cut away to a gardening show or whatever waas on after the broadcast times. Again emphasis was on the 75 squadron as usual , and the then 76 sq , but not a word about the mighty 78 squadron , just a sweeping pan of the camera caught our men .. Dissapointed but not out ! Next year we will get some prominence...we promise. some images will be posted on theis site thanks to Grant Walkers daughter Robyn who is always there to support us ..thanks .
Toomelah NSW War Memorial will be officially unvelied on Friday February 20 .2009
Proceedings will begin with a commemoration service in honour of World War II 78 squadron RAAF pilot Len Waters .
Len Waters the first and only Aboriginal fighter pilot in RAAF .
days until Anzac Day
25th of April, 2013 Australian Time
78 Squadron Association
St Pauls 2031 NSW
Australia PH: 02 93494768
email : admin at 78 squadron dot com dot au
Images on this website may be disturbing ,and are in no way intended to offend, but to honour those who have fallen.
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