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No 20 Squadron

Formed on 1 August 1941 at Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea , with six Consolidated Catalina Flying Boats under the command of Squadron Leader WN Gibson DFC, No 20 Squadron's operations comprised coast-watching and reconnaissance, with patrols covering New Guinea , New Britain , New Ireland , the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

In association with No 11 Squadron, an aircraft from each unit was sent to Western Australia in November 1941 to assist in the search for survivors from HMAS Sydney.

The first anti-submarine patrol was carried out on 17 December 1941, without success.

In May 1942, No 20 Squadron moved to Bowen, Queensland, with its main role seaward reconnaissance for the entire New Guinea to Solomon Islands to New Caledonia area.

The squadron changed its operations to mine-laying in Japanese-held ports in the Dutch East Indies from June 1943 until October 1945, when it assisted with the repatriation of prisoners-of-war until its move to Rathmines, New South Wales.

During its short history, the squadron had many moves. From Port Moresby to Cairns in November 1942, then to Darwin in September 1944, and finally to Rathmines in November 1945. The squadron was finally disbanded on 27 March 1946.

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