With a remarkable unbroken record of service, Air Force’s No. 38 Squadron this month marks the 70th anniversary of its formation.
No. 38 Squadron was formed at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Richmond on 15 September 1943, and remains the longest continuously-serving operational flying squadron in the Air Force.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, 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 frontline to providing much-needed relief following disasters.” Air Marshal Brown said.
“This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate No. 38 Squadron’s achievements, as well as remember those who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives in the squadron’s service.”
To mark its 70th anniversary, No. 38 Squadron conducted a family day on September 14 at RAAF Base Townsville, and will host a reunion of past and present members in November.
Commanding Officer of No. 38 Squadron, Wing Commander Stewart Dowrie, explained the unit has come full circle since its establishment in 1943.
“On our formation, our role was to transport essential Defence personnel and light cargo across Australia and into New Guinea, and this is effectively the role we perform today,” Wing Commander Dowrie said.
“No. 38 Squadron was initially equipped with the Lockheed Hudson as a light transport, and later replaced these with Douglas Dakotas that were flown until 1973.
“In 1964, the squadron began a 45-year legacy of flying the Caribou, an aircraft renowned forits short take off and landing capability.”
No. 38 Squadron crews have supported Defence operations around the globe, including airdropping supplies to Australian Diggers in New Guinea and contributing crews during the Berlin Airlift.
It has flown pig bristles out of China during the civil war, supported British Special Forces inMalaya, and carried Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on a Royal Tour of Australia.
No. 38 Squadron has also supported peacekeeping operations in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, and along the Indian/Pakistani border.
Today, No. 38 Squadron operates a fleet of eight King Air 350 aircraft from RAAF Base Townsville, using an integrated workforce of Air Force and contracted Hawker Pacific members. The King Air allows Air Force to provide efficient, reliable and effective airlift within Australia and the immediate region.
“We have a history of flying different aircraft in different environments, but our people continue to demonstrate the same spirit of getting the job done,” Wing Commander Dowrie said.
“The No. 38 Squadron motto is ‘Equal to the Task’, which is an enduring theme of our 70 years of service.”
Information regarding the reunion will be available at: http://www.airforce.gov.au/. Imagery of No. 38 Squadron is available at: http://raaf.gov.au/18WhH4P.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999