No. 13 (City of Darwin) Squadron RAAF
From Our Contribution
Two Hudson aircraft from No. 13 Squadron near Darwin in 1940 - AWM AC0069
No. 13 Squadron was formed at RAAF Station Darwin on 1 Jun 1940, operating Avro Anson aircraft in general reconnaissance and maritime surveillance roles. Re-equipped with Lockheed Hudson light bombers, early work involved looking for survivors from HMAS Sydney and familiarisation flights over islands to the north in preparation for Japan's entry into the war. At the time Japan entered the war, the squadron's planes were equally divided between Darwin and Laha Airfield on Ambon Island. These outposted aircraft suffered heavy losses both in the air and on the ground as Japan swept towards Australia. The Squadron in Darwin was severely effected by the Japanese raid on 19 Feb 1942, but its aircraft had been moved inland and were untouched.
Despite limited resources and planes the squadron continued to conduct raids over the islands occupied by the Japanese. No. 13 Squadron was later awarded the United States Presidential Unit Citation for its operations over Timor during August and September 1942. On 4 Apr 1943 the squadron was withdrawn to RAAF Base Fairburn and re-equipped with Bristol Beaufort and Lockheed Ventura aircraft for anti-submarine and shipping patrols. In late May 1944 the squadron moved to Cooktown in north Queensland, before moving to Gove in the Northern Territory in August. In late June 1945 the squadron moved to Morotai, and with the Japanese surrender, to Labuan in British North Borneo. From here they provided a ferry service, moving ex-prisoners of war and other personnel back to Australia. The unit was disbanded on 11 Jan 1946. Casualties had included 87 personnel killed.
- † Frank Keith Morcombe DFC 19 - 22 Jul 1942 & 4 Apr - 16 May 1943
- Edward Arthur Ross 6 - 23 Jul 1940