86 Wing ran Japan courier service
After the newly-formed No 86 Wing Headquarters took over RAAF Station Schofields, outside Sydney, on this day, it assumed responsibility for running the longest regular air transport service in the world using twin-engined aircraft. Since late 1945, RAAF Dakotas had frequently flown to Japan from bases at Morotai and Darwin, carrying mail, supplies and personnel for the Australian component of the Allied occupation forces. Following the concentration of RAAF transport units at Schofields, however, aircraft from No 36 or 38 Squadrons undertook scheduled courier flights three times a week entailing a 21 000-kilometre round trip. Each aircraft flew first to Laverton in Victoria, then via Adelaide to Darwin, before heading for Japan with stops at Morotai, the Philippines and Okinawa along the way. In December 1947, the Japan route was taken over by Qantas Airways, and the last RAAF courier returned to base on 13 January 1948.