7 SQUADRON RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA
DURING WW2

 

7sqn.jpg (50695 bytes)

Beaufort A9-132 of 7 Squadron RAAF at Ross River Airfield
(Queensland Airfields WW2 - 50 Years On by Roger R. Marks)

 

7 Squadron was formed at Laverton on 27 June 1940.  Squadron Leader E.D. Scott was the Commanding Officer.  The Squadron was originally meant to be supplied with Lockheed Hudson however due to a mix-up none were allocated and the Squadron went into limbo for a while, with some personnel posted elsewhere or attached temporarily to 2 Squadron.

7 Squadron reformed on 27 January 1942 initially as an operational training unit.  This time they received their Hudsons.  The Squadron also participated in a few anti-submarine patrols and convoy escorts. 

On 7 April 1942 the squadron relocated to Bairnsdale with one flight from the Squadron based at Mallacoota.

A few weeks later the squadron saw its first operational encounter when on 4 June 1942 Flight Lieutenant C. Williams attacked a Japanese submarine. Williams reported possible damage to the submarine.

1 OTU moved to Bairnsdale later in June 1942 where they absorbed most of 7 Squadron.  The remainder moved to Nowra in August 1942 where they completed their conversion training to Beauforts in October 1942.

7 Squadron RAAF moved to Ross River airfield from Nowra on 6 November 1942.  While in the Townsville area they flew their Beaufort bombers on seaward convoy and anti-submarine patrols.  On 15 December 1942 Flying Officer Whitshaw caught a surfaced Japanese submarine and inflicted some possible damage. On 5 other occasions the Beauforts of 7 Squadron detected Japanese Jake float planes on their radars and were successful in shooting down 2 Jakes and damaging the others.

Some Beauforts from 7 Squadron were located at Cooktown from 6 November 1942 until 18 November 1943.

7 Squadron was based at Ross River airfield from 11 November 1942 until January 1943 and then at Townsville (Garbutt?), from January 1943 until March 1944.

7 Squadron moved a detachment of Beauforts to Horn Island for about six months in about January 1943 where they conducted maritime and anti-submarine patrols. On 27 January 1943, during a routine operational flight, known as the "P" "Milk Run" patrol, F/Sgt Len Gairns spotted a white man with a long beard waving furiously from the beach on the northern tip of Wessel Island. The man wrote a message in the sand to identify he was from the HMAS Patricia Cam. F/Sgt Gairns then dropped a message, and the man then drew an arrow on the sand pointing to the rest of the survivors. HMAS Patricia Cam had been bombed and sunk by a Japanese floatplane on 22 January 1943.

In September 1943 Flying Officer Legge shot down a Japanese Jake.

The squadron moved from Horn Island airfield to Higgins airfield (Jack Jacky) on 26 March 1944. They then moved on to Tadji in New Guinea on about 25 October 1944 under the command of Squadron Leader J.O. Barton.  Ten C-47's from 34 Squadron in Parafield in South Australia, 35 Squadron from Guilford in Western Australia and 36 Squadron from Townsville transported the men and equipment to Tadji. In Tadji they made many attacks against Japanese positions in support of Australian troops plus a number of supply drop missions.

7 Squadron was disbanded on 19 December 1945.

 

The following photographs were taken by Len Storey of 7 Squadron RAAF.
The comments are mostly from Len's photo album

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"A" Flight, 7 Squadron at Ross River airfield 

L to R:- McInnes, Webb, Winterbon, Welch, Faye & Nielson'

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GES at Ross River airfield

Front to rear:- MacIntosh, Brown, Len Storey & Bill'
The partially obscured bloke on the right is not named

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Meal parade at Ross River airfield cookhouse

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Pay Parade at Ross River airfield

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Photo of Ross River airfield from Mount Stuart

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Sick quarters at Ross River airfield

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Truck and airmen at Ross River airfield

L to R:- McInnes, D'Orsa, Sauer, Miles, Nielson, Winterbon & Welch 

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Members of 7 Squadron in 1943
"Taken just when Smithy was leaving for No1.IFTS 1943"

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7 Squadron Beaufort, possibly A9-296, at Ross River airfield, 
with Mt. Stuart in the background

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Bombing up a Beaufort at Ross River airfield

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Chas Loughlin sitting down again!

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Some 7 Squadron base humour

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Beaufort instrument panel

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Brewster Buffalo

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Pranged Beaufort - A belly landing at Sale, Vic

7sqn17.jpg (52144 bytes)

Picking up a Pranged Boomerang?, Townsville, 1943

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Remains of a Flying Fortress, Horn Island, 1943 - 14 Killed

Can anyone confirm which crash it may have been?
I have a B-17 E Flying Fortress crashing
on 24 Mar 44 on Horn Island,
# 41-2497 " Tojo's Nightmare"
I can't be sure if it was this one

7sqn19.jpg (100924 bytes) Beaufort A9-397 at Ross River airfield. Mt. Stuart in the background
7sqn20.jpg (51907 bytes) 7 Squadron Beaufort in flight
possibly A9-397
7sqn21.jpg (74431 bytes)

Curtis Navy Reconnaissance aircraft & Beaufort at Nowra, NSW in 1942

7sqn22.jpg (54223 bytes)

Hudson Bomber (converted) possibly at Sale, Vic

7sqn23.jpg (51661 bytes)

Kittyhawks of 75 Squadron RAAF, Horn Island, 1943'

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A close up of Beaufort "Saucy Sue"

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"Saucy Sue" running up. Bill Forsyth gets a breeze

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A Seagull at Horn Island

 

Crash of a Lockheed Hudson of 7 Squadron
near Lake Reev in Victoria
(via Long Point on the Ninety Mile Beach)
on 9 June 1942

 

Crash of a Beaufort bomber of 7 Squadron
into the sea near Wednesday Island
on 9 December 1942

 

Crash of a Beaufort
into sea 15 miles east of Palm Island
on 10 Dec 1942

 

Beaufort bomber of 7 Squadron
hit by a landing Vultee Vengeance
at Higgins Field on 1 May 1944

 

Beaufort bomber of 7 Squadron
Crash landed at Higgins Field
on 10 June 1944

 

Crash of a Beaufort bomber of 7 Squadron
into the sea on a torpedo mission
out of Higgins Field on 13 June 1944

 

Crash of a Beaufort bomber of 7 Squadron
near Higgins Field on 2 July 1944

 

Can anyone help me with more information on 7 Squadron RAAF?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank David Storey for his assistance with this home page. His father LAC Leonard James "Len" Storey (52163) was an engine mechanic with 7 Squadron RAAF.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 14 July 1998

This page last updated 13 January 2017