A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A Hornet has been painted in 3 Squadron World War 2 desert camouflage colours to celebrate the unit’s centenary.
3 Squadron is one of four RAAF units celebrating their centenary this year, along with 1, 2 and 4 Squadrons, all of which were formed in 1916 during World War 1 as part of the then Australian Flying Corps.
This exclusive image by photographer Jaryd Stock shows Hornet A21-27 wearing a hybrid scheme featuring the tan and brown camouflage and the ‘CV-V’ squadron code as worn by P-40 Kittyhawks flown by Squadron Leader Bobby Gibbes – the unit’s longest serving commanding officer during WW2 – plus the blue painted rudders featuring the southern cross that was a feature of 3 Squadron’s wartime P-51 Mustangs. The jet also features the contemporary 3 Squadron bomb-carrying eagle emblem on the tail, WW2-style roundels but featuring the red kangaroo (as introduced in 1956) rather than the red inner circle, and contemporary low vis roundels.
Of the other squadrons celebrating their centenary, a 2 Squadron Boeing Wedgetail now sports markings on its nose to mark the milestone…
…While in June, two 1 Squadron Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets flew in formation with a replica Bristol F2B Fighter to mark the centenary of the unit’s first operational sorties on June 12 1916.