Longest WWII sea reconnaissance mission undertaken by RAAF land-based aircraft

09 Jan 1942

A Lockheed Hudson Mk IV bomber from No 6 Squadron took off from Kavieng, New Britain, before 6 am to carry out an armed photographic reconnaissance of Japanese forces in the Truk Islands to the north. Arriving over the target, the pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Robert Yeowart, spent 25 minutes making two passes to photograph Toll Harbour and an island airfield, dodging anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters sent up to intercept him. Returning first to Kavieng, the Hudson flew on to Rabaul and, after a brief stopover, returned to Townsville on 10 January. The 2260 kilometres flown during the mission made this the longest sea reconnaissance undertaken by the RAAF in a land-based aircraft. The enemy shipping and aircraft observed at Truk confirmed expectations that New Ireland and New Britain would soon be attacked.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Townsville

Related aircraft

  • Hudson Bomber