Flt Lt William Torrens Hinds

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Introduction On the 17th February 1943, Flying Officer William Torrens Hinds, a cousin of the direct descendants of Harry Watson, who settled Gregory Downs, in the Gulf of North Queensland, was posted to Darwin with 54 squadron of the RAF flying Spitfires out of Parap airfield defending Darwin against Japanese attacks. On the 7th September … Continue reading Flt Lt William Torrens Hinds

A Darwin Spitfire Defence Fail

The No 1 Fighter Wing Spitfires that defended Darwin comprised RAAF Squadrons 452 and 457 as well as British RAF Squadron 54. The Wing had their first engagement on the 2nd of March of 1943 however April was a quiet month. The enemy did not send one raider against them during that month, whereas in … Continue reading A Darwin Spitfire Defence Fail

Restoration of RAF 54 Squadron Leader E M Gibbs Spitfire Mk Vc

During the time in 1943 that William “Bill” Hinds was with RAF 54 Squadron in Darwin, his commanding officer was Squadron Leader Eric Malcolm “Bill” Gibbs. RAF Nos 562696 (NCO) and 43200 (Officer) Spitfire Mk Vc Tropicalised of 54 Squadron RAF, No.1 Fighter Wing being pushed into its camouflaged bay at Parap airfield, Darwin in … Continue reading Restoration of RAF 54 Squadron Leader E M Gibbs Spitfire Mk Vc

The First Spitfire Defence over Darwin

When 15 Japanese ‘Kate’ bombers appeared with fighter escorts over Coomalie airfield, south of Darwin, at 1430 on the 2nd of March 1943, the attackers had the unexpected experience of encountering Mk Vc Spitfires of the RAAF’s No 1 Fighter Wing. Spitfire Mk Vc at a Darwin airfield The three squadrons of the Wing (Nos … Continue reading The First Spitfire Defence over Darwin

Killer Clive Caldwell’s Spitfire over Darwin

"The Battle for the Skies of Darwin"Artist: Jim Laurie and Gareth Hector Group Captain Clive Robertson Caldwell, DSO, DFC (and Bar) (1911–1994) Clive Caldwell In late 1942 Caldwell returned to assist in the defence of Australia against the Japanese. He took command of No. 1 Fighter (Spitfire) Wing based at Darwin comprising RAF 54 Squadron … Continue reading Killer Clive Caldwell’s Spitfire over Darwin

Darwin Spitfires & Rolls Royce Merlin Engines

Royal Air Force personnel in Darwin servicing 54 Squadron Spitfires in 1943 and 1945 (images AWM) Royal Air Force personnel servicing the Rolls Royce Merlin engine of a RAF No.54 Supermarine Spitfire, Darwin, 1945. Spitfire of 54 Squadron being rolled back under camouflaged parking bay. June 1943 No.54 Squadron Royal Air Force armourers replenishing ammunition … Continue reading Darwin Spitfires & Rolls Royce Merlin Engines

Spitfire in Litchfield National Park

Flt Sgt Col Duncan Tuesday the 12th of November 2019 marked a significant event in preserving the Territory’s heritage with the handover of the wreckage of Flt Sgt Colin Duncan’s RAAF Spitfire A58-2 to the Northern Territory Government for continued preservation. The handover coinciding with the 76th anniversary of the last Japanese bombing raid over … Continue reading Spitfire in Litchfield National Park

Bob Alford – Aviation Historian

Bob Alford is the Honorary Consultant Historian to The Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory Inc. Bob is a life-member of the Society and the author of “Darwin’s Air Wars”, widely acclaimed as the most authoritative tome on the events leading up to, and beyond, the 19th February 1942 when Darwin was heavily bombed … Continue reading Bob Alford – Aviation Historian