BY LEX McAULAY
79 Squadron RAAF was the only Spitfire squadron raised in Australia. All the others were raised in the UK.
79 Squadron was raised in 1943 and given one month to be ready for deployment to war. For the first deployment, equipped with Spitfire V fighters, the squadron served at Goodenough Island, Kiriwina and The Admiralties. In December 1944 the squadron went to Oakey to re-equip with Spitfire VIII aircraft, after which it moved to Morotai until the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
This is the story of the men who serviced the Spitfires and those who flew them on operations, and also the story of the disgraceful lack of support from rear echelons and criminal negligence that led to engine failures, loss of aircraft and death of a pilot.
The book includes the experiences of pilots and ground crew, the air combats against Japanese aircraft, the crashes and bail-outs, the hardships of life in the operational area, and the disappointment of pilots given a first-class fighter but restricted to ground-strafing and hunting for canoes and barges.
Some of the pilots were fighter aces, and some on their second or third tour of operations after experience in the UK, North Africa or Malaya. Their operational details are included.
The appendices include a Roll of Honour, nominal rolls and lists of aircraft losses during the life of 79 Squadron.
Note that this book is on disk only. The disk includes the text with illustrations, and separately two extra batches of photos which were provided after the book was completed.
Price: $22.00 within Australia, including postage.
Available only on Disk