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  #1  
Old 20th October 2005, 11:41
Troy White Troy White is offline
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Australian Spitfires

Having recently relocated to Australia I have been working on several projects involving Australian Spitfire operations in the Pacific. I am wondering if there is any one else that visits this forum that has an interest in this area. I would like to exchange information and hopefully find some more resource material.

Cheers

Troy
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Old 20th October 2005, 19:58
ruxpin35 ruxpin35 is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

There is a website on this subject, th address is:

www.pacificspitfires.com
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Old 21st October 2005, 10:47
JeffK JeffK is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

There is also an excellent book that covers the Darwin portion of their work.

Spitfires over Darwin - 1943

Give a yell if you need help, I've actually touched the Spit Mk VIII at Temora :-)

PS. 79 Sqn worked up at Wooloomanata which is only 5 minutes away before it went to the SW Pacific
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Old 22nd October 2005, 01:29
JeffK JeffK is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

Troy,

I am also about 30 miles from the RAAF Museum at Point Cook, If there is anything there I can help with let me know.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 03:24
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruxpin35
There is a website on this subject, th address is:
Can anyone provide a brief review of the site, with regard to paying $20 for a subscription?

Specifically, does it have a lot of detail from the Japanese side about engagements involving Spits in the Pacific? On one now seemingly dead free site there was a breakdown of both sides' reported losses over Darwin, and showed the exchange ratio with Japanese fighters very much against the Spits, not just at first ('but tactics changes remediated' as is often said in one sided Western accounts) but throughout.

Joe
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Old 22nd October 2005, 06:25
JeffK JeffK is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeB
Can anyone provide a brief review of the site, with regard to paying $20 for a subscription?

Specifically, does it have a lot of detail from the Japanese side about engagements involving Spits in the Pacific? On one now seemingly dead free site there was a breakdown of both sides' reported losses over Darwin, and showed the exchange ratio with Japanese fighters very much against the Spits, not just at first ('but tactics changes remediated' as is often said in one sided Western accounts) but throughout.

Joe
JoeB,

Dont forget the Spits were there to shoot down Bombers.

But the Spits did loose heavily

Also many operational losses were had due to fuel & mechanical problems, the Spit wasnt at home over Darwin. The Mk Vb's also had that stupid air cleaner which saddled the thoroughbred to a brewery cart!!
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Old 22nd October 2005, 17:20
JoeB JoeB is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffK
JoeB,

Dont forget the Spits were there to shoot down Bombers.

Also many operational losses were had due to fuel & mechanical problems,
So were the F4F's over Guadalcanal in 1942 often engaging similar formations of A6M escorted medium bombers, but achieved about 1:1, fighter:fighter, per both sides' loss records. It's a remarkable operational comparison given a paper comparison Spit V's and F4F-4's. The site I referred to had a table (I dumbly only saved one of its two pages) IIRC only 1 J fighter loss to 20+ Spit combat losses (not including the operational losses). It's not totally at odds with other sources (for example Hata/Izawa JNAF book has 3 losses for the 202 Air Group in the period, the main opposition but not only operating over Darwin, and their JAAF book one Ki-43 loss by 59th Sentai over Darwin).

In any case does anyone know if more such info can be had at that site, or what else you get for $20 (kind of a disturbing internet trend if it's not some pretty phenomenal info!)?

Joe
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Old 23rd October 2005, 03:17
JeffK JeffK is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

After the arrival of Spitfires in Darwin.

"The first large Japanese raid took place on 2 may when 18 Bombers and 27 Escorting Fighters were spotted....

Caldwell led the Spitfires but delayed the attack until the Spitfires had the advantage of height (approx 32,000ft !!) This allowed the attackers to bomb Darwin unmolested.

When the interception took place 6 japanese aircraft were shot down, but 8 Spitfires were lost. (5 ditched after running out of fuel) 3 others were badly damaged and 2 pilots killed."

Tactics changed and experience grew, 9 kills for nil losses in one day in July, 4 for no loss on one day in August.

17 August saw the last major daylight raid over Darwin, Japan changed its tactics to the occaisional night attack.

Your sources need to be reviewed, only 2 Japanese Fighter losses in the period (what period??)

Re the Marine & Navy Wildcats over Guadalcanal, they had an extra advantage of early warning from Coastwatchers which often enabled them to get to sufficient height. And what do Japanese records say about thier losses in these actions?? (I really have doubts about Japanese records, even worse than my doubts about the Luftwaffe records.)
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Old 23rd October 2005, 03:39
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffK
There is also an excellent book that covers the Darwin portion of their work.

Spitfires over Darwin - 1943
Jeff,

Can you give some more details of this book, author, publisher, etc? I'm also interested in finding out more about the Spitfire operations over Darwin.
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  #10  
Old 23rd October 2005, 06:03
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Jim Oxley Jim Oxley is offline
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Re: Australian Spitfires

lThe book is written by jim Grant, who actually served with No.1 Fighter Wing at Darwin as ground crew. The book was first published in 1995 by R. J. Moore with reprints in 1995 and 1996.

The second (current) edition was published by TechWrite Solutions (Vic) Pty Ltd ni 2003. ISBN 0 646 23632 6.

The book has an excellent table detailing actual losses (operational and non-operational causes) as opposed to claims. The worst day of losses was on 2/5/43, when 49 Spitfires took-off to intercept 41 raiders (Raid No.54). This was the third Japanese raid that the Spitfires had been called upon to intercept since commencing operations in Darwin - the first being on 2/3/43 and the second being 15/3/43.

Of the 14 Spitfires lost in combating Raid No.54 3 were ost to enemy action, 2 to unknown causes (no-one saw them go), 4 to engine failure and five to fuel shortage. Only two pilots were lost, those two who no-one saw disappear. In return No.1 Wing claimed 4 Zero's shot down, 1 Betty and 5 Zero's as probables and 1 Betty and 7 Zeros' damaged.
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