No. 87 (Photo Reconnaissance) Squadron RAAF
From Our Contribution
1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit was formed at Laverton Victoria, 8 June 1942 as No 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit. it operated six Brewster Buffalo aircraft. Initial navigation and photographic training was undertaken at Laverton before the unit began the move to Hughes airfield in the Northern territory on 12 Aug 1942.
One Buffalo and a CAC Wirraway were destroyed in a Japanese bombing raid on 23 August, and another Buffalo and its pilot were lost in September. The unit received P-38 Lockheed Lightnings in October and the first operational flights began in November. It relocated to Coomalie airfield on 6 Dec 1942. An early focus for flights was Timor and Dutch New Guinea. Two Japanese raids on Coomalie during August caused only minimal damage. On 26 May 1944 the unit received its first Mosquito aircraft and the squadron flew missions over Java, Balikpapan, Biak, the Halmahera islands and the Philippines. The unit was re-designated no. 87 Squadron RAAF. As ore aircraft were received the number of missions increased. overflying islands in the Eastern Dutch East Indies.
At the end of the war, No. 87 Squadron continued to conduct flights over Japanese held territory in order to monitor Japanese Army units until they could be disarmed. The squadron moved to Parkes, New South Wales, in October 1945 where it was disbanded on 24 July 1946.
- 1 x Member of the Order of teh british Empire
- 4 x Distinguished Flying crosses
- 7 x mentioned in Despatches
- Cyril Charles Cross 16 Oct - 18 Dec 1945
Content comes from RAAF Historical Section (1995). Units of the Royal Australian Air Force – Volume 3: Bomber Units. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.