30 Squadron RAAF

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.

Squadron Motto

  • Strike swiftly

Squadron Code

  • LY

Glossary

Equipment

Battle Honours

  • nil

Casualties

  • 68 died (including 1 RAF in Ceylon)

For more information please see the Roll of Honour and Second World War Nominal Roll (external website) databases.

Commanding Officers

Decorations

  • 1 OBE
  • 2 DSO
  • 25 DFC
  • 1 DFC and bar
  • 1 DFM
  • 3 MID

For more information please see Honours and Awards database

Collection Items

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References

  • Barnes, Norman, The RAAF and the flying squadrons, (St Leonards, N.S.W : Allen & Unwin, 2000)
  • Dick, George, Navigators of No 30 Beaufighter Squadron : some personal recollections, (Glenbrook, N.S.W.: Adam Press, 1994)
  • Dick, George, Service in no. 30 Beaufighter Squadron : some individual recollections, (Glenbrook, N.S.W.: Adam Press, 1994)
  • Dick, George; Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Museum, Point Cook, Beaufighters over New Guinea : No. 30 Squadron RAAF 1942-1943, (Point Cook, Vic.: Royal Australian Air Force Museum, 1993)
  • Royal Australian Air Force Historical Records Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force : a concise history: volume 2 Fighter units, (Canberra : AGPS Press, 1995)