|Rank On Discharge/Death||Flying Officer (FLGOFF)|
|Date of Enlistment||13 May 1940|
|Contributing Author/s||Colin Davis (son)|
The Spitfire Association 2021
Reg was born in Glebe, a suburb of Sydney NSW on the 18th of January 1922.
He enlisted on the 13th of May 1940 as an aircraft hand and was posted to No. 8 Squadron Canberra on 1st of July 1940, then with 5ED sent to Sembawang (an area in the northernmost portion of Singapore).
He departed from Melbourne on 13th of August 1940 onboard the Strathallan.
Reg started out by joining the military police, provosts. The reason for this could have been so he could be jumped up to Sergeant and thus get his stripes and more money I have been told. He learn to fly on his own accord in Singapore.
When the Japanese pushed into the Malayan peninsular and threatened Singapore city itself Reg had the opportunity of escaping the final conflict and avoid the Japanese takeover. It is unclear at the time of writing this as to how Reg made his own way back to Australia, but the records show that he arrived in Freemantle by ship on the 6th of March 1942.
He travelled to Canberra HQ then was seconded to No. 24 Squadron 14th August 1942. While there he applied for flying school and attended No. 39 course at Bradfield (a suburb of Sydney) in 1943. Initially he flew Tiger Moths and Wirraways at Uranquinty near Wagga Wagga.
After successfully completing his course, he received his wings 16th of January 1944 and then attended No. 29 Spitfire course Mildura (Victoria) in March 1944.
He was then posted to 79 Squadron 13th of May 1944, in Morotai, Halmahera Island flying the Mark V111 Spitfire. Morotai Island is an island in the Halmahera group of eastern Indonesia's Maluku Islands (Moluccas). It is one of Indonesia's northernmost islands.
His aircraft carried the No. A58-506 and he flew his first sortie 10th of November 1944 and flew last sortie 24th of September 1945; 48 sorties in total. It is regretted that not a lot is known of Reg's flying days with 79 Squadron. However, before it is too late his son Colin is embarking on the task of interviewing some of Reg's surviving old flight buddies.
In closing Colin said, "Much later after the war I can recall dad being asked how good a Spitfire pilot were you?" and his standard reply was, "Well I'm still here aren't I?" and that is all he would say.
Discharged 15th of November 1945.
He was a member of Bankstown RSL where he was very well-known and respected, and where my brother & I spent many an ANZAC Day with him. Reg passed away in 1991.
The photo above is of 79 Squadron. Reg Davis is fourth from the left, in the centre row.
Colin Davis (son)
Summary of Flying Officer Reginal Edward Davis's service history
2 RD Richmond 13/05/1940
3 AD Tech Squadron 10/06/1940
No. 8 Squadron, Canberra 01/07/1940
Departed Sydney for Sembawang 10/08/1940
Arrived SHQ Headquarters Sembawang 26/08/1940
**** Invasion of Singapore told to escape best way possible****
Arrived in Fremantle after escape on Dutch freighter/cargo ship name: Unknown 06/03/1942
5 ED Perth 06/03/1942
Ascot Vale 17/03/1942
Bradfield Park 31/03/1942
5 HQ Canberra 03/04/1942
#2 ITS Bradfield Park 27/03/1943
#8 EFTS 05/09/1943
#5 SFTS 26/09/1943
2 UTU 13/02/1944
Operational tour: Morotai 13/05/1944
Tour finished: returned to Oakey 24/10/1944
Col's memories of his dad, Reg Davis
Dad was a man of few words. He wrote a few funny entries into his logbook WHICH I PROUDLY OWN he was very brief in his entries, as you can see from this selection below.
May 13th, 1945: Flying UP-U bombed and strafed Mawea target. His other entry simply: "Bags of fun".
May 21st, 1945: Bombed Japanese barracks area. Again, he simply wrote: 'Lost flying goggles".
October 25th: Flying UP-U. He simply wrote: "Going home cheers".
October 29th: Flying UP-U, arrived Oakey Qld. "Did over a super fortress Bill Basey pranged while landing ran into a creek. Dad's entry "WET"
Final entry was 31st October 1945: one simple word "FINIS". As you can see by dad's last entries he brought UP-U home.
A story told to me by dad, was he was out flying and looking at some low-flying clouds when suddenly, over his radio, came a loud call, 'get the bloody hell out of here!' 'We are over the largest anti-aircraft base in the area.' So, they quickly turned back to Morotai.
Another story told to me about Reg Davis, by his younger brother Jack Davis, was when Dad was coming home, he heard these 'Yanks' are giving away free cigarettes. So, Dad in his wisdom thought, 'I don't need a parachute'. So, he removed the chute form the bag and filled the bag with cartons of cigarettes. He then sat on them for the flight back to Oakey, Queensland. I suppose if he had to bail out, he could have had a smoke on the way home.