RAAF: Celebrating 70 years of continuous service

Air Force’s longest continually serving operational squadron marked 70 years of flying in September 2013.

No 38 Squadron has continually operated since it began with a fleet of Hudson aircraft in 1943 at RAAF Base Richmond. The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO congratulated all those who have served with No 38 Squadron for their achievements. „Over the last 70 years, No 38 Squadron has worked continuously to support both peacetime and military operations, from supporting troops on the front line to providing much-needed relief following disasters,” Air Marshal Brown said. „This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the squadron’s achievements, as well as remember those who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives in the squadron’s service.”

The Commanding Officer of No 38 Squadron, Wing Commander Stew Dowrie, said the squadron had the distinction of always being needed. „Most squadrons stood down after World War II, but No 38 Squadron quickly moved into returning prisoners of war from Singapore before it supported Commonwealth occupation forces in Japan,” he said. „Squadron aircraft and crews then went on to serve during the Berlin Airlift, Korean War, Malayan Emergency and Vietnam War. „I think there was never the opportunity to shut us down; we weren’t necessarily at the forefront of operations, but we were always there doing the business.” He said the aircraft flown by the unit may not have been the most modern or glamorous. „Hudsons were quickly replaced with the trusty DC-3s, before they were phased out by the Caribou from 1964. King Air aircraft arrived at the squadron in 2009 to replace the ageing Caribou. But, for their day, each of those aircraft was considered reliable, dependable and highly effective.” WGCDR Dowrie said squadron tasking was largely the same today as its original orders: to fly personnel and light cargo around Australia and the region.

Source / Author: RAAF