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No 30 Squadron

Formed at Richmond, New South Wales in March 1942, No 30 Squadron was quickly deployed to New Guinea, becoming the first RAAF Beaufighter squadron to see action in the Pacific Theatre. The Beaufighter, with its heavy cannon and machine gun armament, proved particularly effective against Japanese shipping and troop barges.

During the Battle of the Bismarck Sea - one of the decisive engagements of the Pacific Theatre - No 30 Squadron Beaufighters, flying at mast height, provided suppressive fire for following waves of allied bombers. The Japanese, under the mistaken impression that they were under torpedo attack, made a disastrous tactical error and turned their ships towards the Beaufighters, leaving them exposed to attack by American and Australian bombers. Eight troop-laden transports and four destroyers were sunk in this battle for the loss of five aircraft, including one Beaufighter.

The day after this battle No 30 Squadron attacked the Japanese base at Lae. Catching the base defenders unprepared, the Beaufighters destroyed six Zeros on the ground and extensively damaged base facilities.

Throughout the war, No 30 Squadron Beaufighters ranged far and wide, attacking targets in the Celebes, Ambon, Ceram and the Halmaheras. Operating at low level, Beaufighter crews had little chance to escape if their aircraft was crippled and consequently high crew losses were to remain a hazard of Beaufighter operations throughout the War.

After the War, No 30 Squadron undertook Target Towing and Special Duties at various bases throughout New South Wales, until the unit was disbanded in 1956.

Equipped with Bloodhound surface-to-air missiles, No 30 Squadron reformed at Williamtown New South Wales in January 1961. The role of the newly formed missile squadron was to provide high-level air defence for Australian military bases and industrial centres. A permanent detachment was based in the Northern Territory in 1965. Until its disbandment in 1968, No 30 Squadron had the distinction of being the RAAF's only surface-to-air missile unit.

Reforming in July 2010, No 30 (City of Sale) Squadron is now responsible for combat support and base operations functions at RAAF Base East Sale.

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