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PLAQUE NO. 128 ... 79 FIGHTER SQUADRON (RAAF)

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RAAF Headquarters promulgated orders for the formation of 79 Squadron on 26th April 1943. The first pilots and supporting personnel arrived at the Fairbairn's property, Wooloomanata, on 29th April. Vickers Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft were flown in and, using Esther's paddock as an airfield, training commenced for the Squadron's role in the war against Japan in the South West Pacific area. Under the command of Sqn. Ldr. Alan Rawlinson DFC & Bar, 79 Squadron moved from Wooloomanata on the 4th June and was fully operational at Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island, Papua New Guinea, by 23rd June 1943.

The Squadron went forward with the Allied advance in the Pacific, successively operating from Kiriwina (Trobriand Islands), Los Negros (Admiralty Islands) and Morotai (Halmahera Island). The Spitfires provided air defence over Allied bases, fighter cover for bombers operating over enemy territory and attacked enemy targets on land and sea. Twelve pilots and one airman armourer of 79 Squadron were killed in the service of Australia during World War 2.



 
Dedicated in the presence of former members of the original 79 Squadron.

18th April 2000
Sculptor: Ross J Bastiaan   Lest We Forget

 



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