A C-130J Hercules will conduct a flypast of RAAF Base Richmond at 11.30am on Thursday, March 1, as part of a commemorative service for the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
Fought from 2-4 March 1943, the battle involved Australian and American aircraft attacking a convoy of Japanese ships sailing for Lae on the north coast of New Guinea. The successful destruction of the convoy prevented the reinforcement of Japanese ground forces in New Guinea, leading it to be described as ‘a land battle, fought at sea, and won from the air’.
The commemorative service at RAAF Base Richmond will involve a church service and wreath laying ceremony involving current-serving RAAF and United States Air Force members, along with members of veteran associations.
The four RAAF squadrons involved in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea were all formed at RAAF Base Richmond prior to being deployed to New Guinea during the Second World War.
More information about the battle is available from http://centralblue.williamsfoundation.org.au/the-battle-of-the-bismarck-sea-alan-stephens/.
The events of the battle were documented firsthand by Academy Award-winning cinematographer Damien Parer for the newsreel film ‘The Bismarck Convoy Smashed’, which can be viewed at https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C189183.