35 SQUADRON RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

35 Squadron RAAF was formed at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia in February 1942 and was initially equipped with a Fox Moth and a de Havilland Dragon aircraft. 35 Squadron commenced operations in March 1942 flying operations to Geraldton, Rottnest Island and Kalgoorlie. The Squadron relocated to Maylands Airfield in Perth on 6 April 1942.

The de Havilland Dragon made a forced landing into the sea south of Dongara reducing the squadron down to its lonely Fox Moth. A Moth Minor, a twin seat trainer, was acquired shortly later, though was not that suitable for transport operations.

Two Fairey Battles joined the squadron in September 1942, again not that suitable for transport operations. A second Moth Minor and an Avro Anson joined the squadron in October 1942. A Dragon Rapide joined the motley collection of squadron aircraft in November 1942. Six Tiger Moths and a Northrup Delta joined the Squadron during December 1942 through to January 1943.

35 Squadron relocated back to Pearce on 5 August 1943 and eventually replaced their strange collection of aircraft with Dakotas on 18 December 1943. The strange collection of aircraft was then inherited by 7 Communications Unit RAAF.

35 Squadron Dakotas based in Pearce commenced freight and passenger operations to as far as Broome in Western Australia, and Essendon in Melbourne.

35 Squadron moved to Guildford in Western Australia on 11 August 1944. A Detachment of 35 Squadron was established in Brisbane in south east Queensland later in August 1944 for special duties in eastern and northern Australia. The control of transport squadrons passed from the Directorate of Air Transport to the RAAF on 16 October 1944.

Three Dakotas from 35 Squadron flew to Higgins Airfield on 17 October 1944 to fly a special ferry service to Aitape on the north coast of New Guinea.

A Detachment of the Squadron began operation from Townsville and staged through Iron Range, Merauke, Hollandia, Tadji and Noemfoor. Another Detachment was based in Darwin in the Northern Territory.

On 31 January 1945 an advance party left Guildford for Townsville, arriving there on 3 February 1945. The rest of the Squadron arrived in Townsville in February and March 1945. They started scheduled operations to bases in eastern Australia and New Guinea on 1 April 1945. A Detachment was based at Morotai in late April 1945.

The Detachment at Morotai closed in April 1946 and scheduled services from Townsville ceased in March 1946. 35 Squadron was disbanded on 19 June 1946.

WWII Commanding Officers of 35 Squadron were as follows:-

11 March 1942       Flying Officer Robert Owen Giles (291433)
6 April 1942           Flight Lieutenant E. Burdeu
8 March 1944        Squadron Leader K.A. Hopkinson
20 October 1944   Squadron Leader L.B. Harber
29 June 1945        Squadron Leader N.W. Webster
20 August 1945     Squadron Leader K.S. Brown

 


Photo: RAAF Townsville Museum

 35 Squadron Officer's Mess, Town Common area near Happy Valley in Townsville, 1942

 


Photo: RAAF Townsville Museum

Officer's and Airmen's quarters

 

REFERENCES

Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History
Volume 4 Maritime and Transport Units

 

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This page first produced 4 April 2003

This page last updated 03 August 2016