Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
PH Ambassador joins ceremony to honor 43 Squadron Catalina crew
11 June 2023, CAIRNS – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega joined Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman in a commemorative ceremony honoring the crew of Number 43 Squadron, Catalina A24-64, which was lost on 14 December 1944 on Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
During the ceremony held on 11 June at the Cairns Catalina Memorial, a plaque was unveiled to honor the nine crew members of the Catalina with the families of the lost crew in attendance. According to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the reconnaissance mission to the site in 2019 that led to the identification of the aircraft was only made possible through the approval and cooperation of the Government of the Philippines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The Catalinas were flown by the Air Force in the South West Pacific campaigns during the second world war and were operated out of Cairns. The Catalina Memorial on the Cairns Esplanade is dedicated to all four RAAF Catalina Squadrons that conducted mining operations in World War II -- Numbers 11, 20, 42 and 43 Squadrons. All four Squadrons participated in operations in Manila during the war.
The Philippines and Australia have stood shoulder to shoulder in many campaigns since the second world war. Today, the two countries have a robust defense and security partnership contributing to the Philippines’ defense modernization and to regional peace and stability. -- END