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A line-up of RAAF Spitfires Mk. VC belonging to No 79 Squadron. The photograph has been taken in Townsville, North Queensland.
No. 79 Squadron was formed in late-April 1943 under the command of Sqn/Ldr A.C. Rawlinson and spent their two months’ operational training at Wooloomanata, near Geelong, Victoria. In June 1943 the unit was been moved to Goodenough Island in Papua New Guinea, and it is believed that the photograph was taken during the long transfer to the North. Located on the shores of Cleveland Bay some 1,300 km north of Brisbane, Townsville was a major staging point for battles in the South-West Pacific.
The variation of paint finishes displayed on this photograph is noteworthy; no two aircraft carry the same colour scheme. The aircraft in the foreground is A58-57. [John Inger]