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No 100 Squadron

No 100 Squadron was formed in February 1942 out of a nucleus of surviving personnel from the Royal Air Force's No 100 Torpedo Bomber Squadron who had escaped from Malaya. The first RAAF Squadron to be equipped with Australian-built Beauforts, No 100 Squadron was deployed to Queensland in May 1942, where it conducted further torpedo bomber training and anti-submarine patrols.

In June 1942, a detachment of No 100 Squadron Beauforts based at Port Moresby carried out the RAAF's first Beaufort operation when seven aircraft bombed shipping in the Lae area. Despite the loss of one bomber and severe damage to another, the mission was a success and resulted in the sinking of a Japanese merchant vessel.

No 100 Squadron deployed to Milne Bay in September, flying reconnaissance and bombing missions against coastal shipping. On 6 October 1942, the Squadron conducted the first land-based torpedo strike and over the succeeding months a number of enemy vessels were damaged or sunk – including a Japanese cruiser.

No 100 Squadron also took part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943, when eight torpedo-armed Beauforts met with limited success against a dispersed Japanese convoy. This mission proved to be the squadron's last torpedo-bombing mission and thereafter it operated solely in the level-bombing mode – striking targets by night, in particular, the Japanese fortress at Rabaul.

From October 1943 onwards, the squadron had a succession of moves, finally ending up at Tadji. Bombing operations against Japanese troop concentrations hidden in the jungles continued throughout this period.

On 11 September 1944, the squadron conducted operation 'Wewak Welter' - an all-out offensive against the Japanese airfield at Wewak - dropping over 35 380 kg (78,000 lb) of bombs on the target.

After the war No 100 Squadron was involved in leaflet drops to Japanese positions and escorting single-engine fighters on ferry flights back to Australia. The squadron disbanded in New Guinea on 19 August 1946.

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