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Royal New Zealand Air Force

operations from emirau

operations from emirau

The RNZAF maintained a bomber-reconnaissance squadron at Emirau until July 1945, and a fighter squadron until August, when all forces were withdrawn from the island. The squadrons operating there in 1945 were:

Bomber Reconnaissance

  • No. 4 (November 1944–February 1945)

  • No. 8 (February-March)

  • No. 9 (March-May)

  • No. 1 (May–June)

  • No. 4 (June-July)


  • No. 19 (November 1944–January 1945)

  • No. 22 (January-March)

  • No. 23 (March-May)

  • No. 25 (May–July)

  • No. 14 (July-August)

Throughout the period the squadrons were based on Nos. 10 (BR) and 5 (F) Servicing Units.

Operations followed much the same pattern as they had since the RNZAF was first established on the island. Fighter activities were directed at keeping a constant patrol over Kavieng during daylight and dropping occasional bombs to harass the enemy. The bomber-reconnaissance squadrons, early in the year, continued to provide three aircraft each morning to search for Japanese shipping to the north, and others to fly dawn and dusk patrols round the coast of New Ireland. In addition, formations of up to eight aircraft took part when required in strikes on particular targets.

In February, and again in May, June and July, Venturas and American Mitchells from Emirau joined with formations from Green Island in a number of combined attacks on Rabaul.