No. 9 Operation Group RAAF

From Our Contribution

9 Operational Group.jpg
Personnel of No. 30 Squadron, part of No. 73 Wing, No. 9 Operational Group, with a Beaufighter in New Guinea, 1943 AWM photo P01335.011

Brief History

No. 9 Operational Group was formed in New Guinea in September 1942, consisting of seven RAAF squadrons attached to the USAAF's Fifth Air Force. Four of the squadrons were based at Milne Bay and three at Port Moresby. In February 1943 the Group's squadrons were re-organised into two wings: No. 71 Wing, covering the units in Milne Bay, and No. 73 Wing, those in Port Moresby. In March the group provided the RAAF's contribution to the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, a decisive aerial engagement resulting in twelve Japanese ships being sunk. Its aircraft carried out operations against enemy bases, shipping and lines of communication along the coast of New Britain, and between October and November the group launched a number of major raids on Rabaul, bombing and strafing ground and naval targets.

As the Pacific conflict gradually shifted further north, operational tasking lessened and No. 9 OG became colloquially known in the RAAF as the "Non-Ops Group". It assumed the duties of a garrison force in New Guinea and was renamed Northern Command on 11 April 1944, to better reflect its new function. Its mobile strike role was taken over by No. 10 Operational Group which had been formed on 13 November 1943.

Based at Milne Bay

  • No. 6 Squadron (Hudson)
  • No. 75 Squadron (P-40 Kittyhawk)
  • No. 77 Squadron (P-40 Kittyhawk)
  • No. 100 Squadron (Beaufort)

Based at Port Moresby

  • No. 4 Squadron (Wirraway)
  • No. 22 Squadron (Boston)
  • No. 30 Squadron (Beaufighter)

Unit Personnel

Battle Honours

  • New Guinea campaign
  • Battle of the Bismarck Sea
  • Bombing of Rabaul
  • New Britain campaign
  • Battle of Arawe

Individual Honours


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