30 SQUADRON RAAF
The second world war escalated globally in 1941 and Australia appeared doomed to invasion by battle hardened Japanese troops. Then in 1942 The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) received its most effective war asset, a deadly long-range strike fighter, the Bristol Beaufighter (Mk. 1c).
The RAAF quickly mustered young men, many still teenagers, from rural and farming communities as well as cities to form several new long range fighter squadrons. They trained hundreds of two-man aircrews to fly this powerful attack fighter in combat against the hundreds of thousands of Imperial Japanese Forces threatening our northern borders. The invading Japanese military forces included ground troops, aircraft and large naval targets of which the Beaufighter conflicted significant damage.
These young men developed a sense of invincibility as they were often required to fly their aircraft in combat at tree top level at around 320mph/hr. The slightest combat damage often meant they 'went in' at speed.
The early destruction to the Japanese war machine by 30SQN RAAF with the help of heavy assistance of bombers and raiders of the USAAF in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea held up advances on the famous Kokoda Track, tipping the balance in Allies favour. As a result, angry Japanese soldiers became obsessed with executing all captured 30SQN aircrews shot down in the Pacific Campaign. Not a single member of 30SQN shot down survived the war. Their average age was just 22.
Beaufighter squadrons fought to save Australia from a massive northerly enemy invasion via Indonesia, Timor, New Guinea and New Britain. It is in part due to the efforts of these squadrons, that we owe much of the peace we all live to enjoy today. 30 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, is one such squadron.
Pictured is a caricature of 29 year old Group Captain Brian 'Black Jack' Walker holding his 'Beau'. Black Jack was one of the most experienced fighter pilots of WWII and arguably the most experienced RAAF fighter pilot in WWII. During the height of the war he was also Commanding Officer of 30SQN RAAF.
30 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force is now based in East Sale, Victoria. GTaGG manages the comprehensive website for 30SQN RAAF Association and Hereward is an active member of the Associations committee. The website is being built with the expertise of iVent Services and the creative team from GTaGG. When the website is launched later in the year, a link will be provided here.