SCOUTING SQUADRON SIXTY-ONE VS-61
FLEET AIR WING TEN, US NAVY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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In October 1943, Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61, Fleet Air Wing Ten, US Navy, under the command of Lieutenant W. E. Cardinal was based in Perth in Western Australia.

Two OS2U-3s were received from Brisbane in Queensland on 22 October 1942.

VS-61 expended 110 rounds of .30 calibre machine gun during the month of October 1943 during training exercises.

From 1 to 21 October 1943, Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61 at Perth took part in routine utility and training flights. The Utility Flights involved towing targets for PBY and anti-aircraft gunfire. The training flights were mostly instrument flying, familiarisation landings and dive bombing exercises.

 

The following aircraft were temporarily based at Advance Base Perth:-

DATES OS2U J2F-5 SBD
1 Oct 43 to 22 Oct 43 1 2 -
23 Oct 43 to 31 Oct 43 3 2 -
1 Nov 43 to 31 Nov 43 2 2 -
1 Dec 43 to 27 Dec 43 2 2 -
28 Dec 43 -   -
29 Dec 43 to 31 Dec 43 2 2 -
1 to 31 Jan 44 2 2 -
1 to 29 Feb 44 2 2 -
1 to 31 Mar 44 3 2 -
1 to 30 Apr 44 3 2 -
1 to 31 May 44 3 2 -
1 to 30 Jun 44 3 2 2
1 to 31 July 44 3 2 2

 

The following aircraft was temporarily based at Advance Base Exmouth Gulf:-

DATES OS2U J2F-5 SBD
1 Oct 43 to 31 Oct 43 1 - -
1 Nov 43 to 31 Nov 43 2 - -
1 Dec 43 to 31 Dec 43 2 - -
28 Dec 43 4 - -
29 Dec 43 to 31 Dec 43 2 - -
1 to 31 Jan 44 2 - -
1 to 29 Feb 44 2 - -
1 to 31 Mar 44 1 - -
1 to 30 Apr 44 1 - -
1 to 31 May 44 1 - -
1 to 30 Jun 44 1 - -
1 to 31 Jul 44 1 -  

NOTE:- One OS2U was under overhaul at Melbourne from May to July 1944.

 

USN Vought OS2U-2, BU No. 2281, of Navy Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61 crashed in the Fremantle area, in Western Australia on 25 January 1943 during gunnery training.

Whilst on a routine Patrol Flight on 17 May 1943, USN Vought OS2U-2, BU No. 3078, of Navy Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61 based at NOB Perth, crashed at 22.05S 115.85E, which plots as being approximately 113 miles East of Learmonth Airfield in Western Australia.

US Navy Vought Kingfisher, designated OS2U-2 BN 2283, of Navy Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61, appeared to be in difficulties before it turned over and nose-dived suddenly into the middle of the Swan River a short distance from the Sandringham Hotel on Sunday 12 September 1943. It exploded after disappearing  beneath the surface of the river.

USN Vought OS2U-2, BU No. 3077, of Navy Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61 based at Perth, crashed somewhere in Western Australia on 21 October 1943 during an instrument training flight.

USN Vought OS2U-3, BU No. 5659, of Navy Scouting Squadron Sixty-One VS-61 based at Advance Base Perth crashed somewhere in Western Australia on a training flight on 23 February 1944.

Seventy six men and eight officers left Perth by train for Brisbane on 1 August 1944. Six officers then flew to Mokerang Field, Los Negros and the remaining two officers and enlisted men proceeded by train to Townsville, where they boarded the US Navy Transport ship USS Mizar and proceeded to Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands. They arrived at Manus on 16 August 1944.

 

REFERENCES

Various VS-61 War Diaries on FOLD3 web site

 

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This page first produced 27 April 2017

This page last updated 27 April 2017