No 90 Wing formed at Singapore

On this day, No 90 (Composite) Wing was formed at Richmond, NSW, under command of Group Captain P.G. (‘Paddy’) Heffernan, before moving by air to Changi airbase, Singapore, 12 days later. Its purpose was to provide a superior headquarters for No 38 Squadron (Dakota transports) and No 1 Squadron (Lincoln bombers) that were newly committed to supporting British operations during the Malayan Emergency. The move was regarded as necessary by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal George Jones, who was concerned that the RAAF would lose control of its units, as happened in Britain during World War II. Apparently acting without Government authority, Jones cabled the Air Ministry in London that if it did not accede to having the Australian squadrons under a senior RAAF officer, the units would not be sent. The Wing was disbanded in December 1952, after 38 Squadron returned to Australia, leaving 1 Squadron as the sole Australian presence in Malaya.

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