No. 30 Squadron

Collection type Unit
Title No. 30 Squadron
Category Unit

30 Squadron was formed at Richmond in New South Wales on 9 March 1942, where it conducted training flights and sea reconnaissance. In August the unit moved to Townsville and then to Port Moresby and began attacking Japanese shipping and other targets around Buna and Sanananda.

For the rest of 1942 the squadron aircraft attacked boats, airstrips, and supply dumps in Lae, on Goodenough Island, Buna, and Gona. The unit also played a major part in supporting army operations between Buna, Kokoda, and Sanananda by regularly attacking supply and communication lines. By November 30 squadron had begun a series of strafing missions against Japanese infantry retreating from Kokoda towards the north coast. The squadron's Beaufighters maintained an armed reconnaissance searching for troops escaping the bombing offensives on Buna, Soputa, and Gona. They also made a series of successful strafing attack on grounded aircraft at the Lae aerodrome.

In early 1943, when the Allies began to pressure Japanese strongholds at Lae and Salamaua, 30 Squadron made numerous offensive attacks on troop concentrations, grounded aircraft, supply dumps, barges, and landing parties from New Britain. Unit aircraft also led the Allied assault during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in early March, resulting in the destruction of many Japanese vessels heading for Lae. The remainder of the year was spent attacking targets in Madang and Nassau Bay, and providing convoy escorts to ships bring troops and supplies to New Guinea.

The first months of 1944 saw 30 Squadron undertaking barge sweeps and reconnaissance and other offensive missions on a daily basis. On 9 June the squadron moved to Tadji airfield in Aitape and commenced attacks on Japanese barges supplying the Wewak stronghold. The squadron left Tarakan in December 1945, bound for Deniliquin in New South Wales. It was disbanded on 15 August 1946.