6 SQUADRON RAAF
IN
AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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The forerunner of 6 Squadron was formed at Richmond on 3 May 1937 as No 4 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron equipped with Hawker Demons and later Avro Ansons. On 1 January 1939, 4 Squadron RAAF was renumbered to 6 Squadron RAAF. The Commanding Officer was Wing Commander D.E.L. Wilson.  

6 Squadron's Mk. 1 Avro Ansons were used for general reconnaissance activities. On 26 August 1939, eight Avro Ansons from 6 Squadron were involved in a search for the German freighter "Lehner" which had escaped from Sydney Harbour the previous night.

The squadron was re-equipped with Lockheed Hudson aircraft in April 1940. When Australia declared war with Japan in December 1941, the Hudsons of 6 Squadron increased their number of anti-submarine and general reconnaissance patrols. 

In January 1942, two specially modified Hudsons from 6 Squadron carried out the longest photo reconnaissance mission by land based aircraft in WW2. They left Richmond air base and had a stopover in Townsville, and some island bases. Unfortunately one of the Hudsons became unserviceable. The remaining serviceable aircraft, captained by Flight Lieutenant R. Yeowart managed to photograph Truk harbour and the nearby airfield. He came under intense ant-aircraft fire and was chased by some Japanese fighter aircraft.

On 23 August 1942, 6 Squadron relocated to Horn Island in far north Queensland. One flight of 4 Hudsons was detached to Milne Bay for reconnaissance and bomber support. On 11 October 1942 the rest of 6 Squadron moved from Horn Island to Ward's Strip at Port Moresby. By November 1942, the whole of the squadron had been moved to Milne Bay.

On 18 September 1943, the Squadron was equipped with Beaufort bombers. The Squadron moved to Goodenough Island in November 1943 and then in December 1944 they started to relocate to Horanda, Dobodura in New Guinea. Until the end of the war they flew close support missions from Jacquinot Bay over the Gazelle Peninsula. From end of April 1945 until 13 May 1945 a detachment of eight Beauforts operated from Tadji.

6 Squadron returned to Australia on 18 October 1945 and relocated to Kingaroy in southern Queensland where the Squadron was disbanded on 31 October 1945.

 

I would like to know more about 6 Squadron's time in Australia during WW2

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REFERENCE BOOKS

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

Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History
Volume 3 - Bomber Units

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Col Edwards for his assistance with this web page.

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 9 June 2002

This page last updated 15 April 2016