“TOGETHER UP THERE 1943/45” by Victor Possé

Represents my History of No. 549 Fighter Squadron RAF in Northern Australia, The Squadron comprised RAF pilots ex-234 Squadron who had been shipped out from England in the “QUEEN MARY”, and RAAF ground crew and administrative staff posted from all points of the compass, and was one of three which comprised No.1 Fighter Wing (also known as the ‘Churchill Wing’) in the defence of Darwin and northern Australia. It had been formed in Lawnton, Q in late 1943, and, and was subsequently disbanded in Queensland at the end of the war in the Pacific.

I became involved when researching my Family History, because my cousin, W/O R.W. “Ron” Possé, was killed as the result of a mid-air collision with another Spitfire over Truscott, Australia’s secret wartime Kimberley airbase, in November 1944.

As a result of the information, data, photographs, etc. which I amassed as a result of my enquiries, I was asked by the Vice-President of No.1 Fighter Wing Association which comprised 548, 549 and 54 Squadrons RAF to write the History, and about the same time I was extremely fortunate to make contact with the “other” pilot involved in the collision, Les Bushell, currently a member of the 234 Squadron Association. He wrote me many informative letters and his fantastic power of recall and turn of phrase have ensured that the book will be a good read!

I have gone on at length and in some detail in the hope that you will be able to help me in the matter of some publicity on your website, but that is obviously not enough, so the following is a brief Synopsis of the contents.

The story tells of the formation of the Squadron, personnel movement from the UK and its movement from Melbourne through to Petrie and Strathpine in Queensland and on to Strauss Strip and Darwin Civil Strip and its subsequent disbandment and movement of the now surpkus Spitfires to Oakey in Queensland. It also briefly describes the parallel history of 548 Squadron and combined operations to Truscott (the secret airstrip in WA), New Guinea and Timor. Appendixes include details of No. 1 Fighter Wing, short biographies of "Killer" Cive Caldwell, "Black Jack" Brian Walker, comprehensive details of the allocation of Spitfires to Australia and a detailed Nominal Roll and Index.


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