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RAAF celebrates centenary of first flying squadrons

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 31, 2016

No 1 Squadron with an F/A-18F Super Hornet on the Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons Centenary parade held at RAAF Base Williamtown.
1SQN personnel and Super Hornet during the centenary parade. (Defence)

The Royal Australian Air Force has marked the centenary of Australia’s first military flying squadrons, Nos 1, 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons, with a colours parade and family day at RAAF Base Williamtown on Friday.

All four units were formed as part of the Army’s Australian Flying Corps in 1916 during the First World War. Their rich histories were marked by a full colours parade reviewed by the Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and featuring flypasts of current and historic aircraft types operated by the units.

“Importantly, centenary events have brought into focus the dedication, commitment, sacrifice and exemplary service of Army and Air Force personnel past and present highlighting the enduring spirit of mateship, with the opportunity to come together as one, in celebration of a proud history that continues with ongoing operations today,” Group Captain van Haren, officer-in-charge of the Centenary Planning Committee, said.

“Centenary celebrations have been simple, yet elegant acknowledgments of the contributions and achievements of Number 1, 2, 3 and 4 Squadrons throughout the last 100 years. Building on Air Force’s earliest beginnings, with the formation of the Australian Flying Corps, Air Force has transitioned into the modern integrated force that we know today.”

Today 1 Squadron is based at RAAF Base Amberley and flies the F/A-18F Super Hornet, while 2, 3 and 4SQNs are based at Williamtown and operate the E-7A Wedgetail, F/A-18A/B ‘classic’ Hornet and PC-9/A respectively.


“Today’s celebrations have also provided the opportunity to thank Defence family members for ‘their’ service – acknowledging the important contributions of parents, grandparents, spouses and children and the support they have provided and continue to provide serving personnel,” GPCAPT van Haren said.

The December issue of Australian Aviation will feature indepth coverage of the centenary.

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Comments (2)

  • Des


    Congratulations on 100 years to the milk drinkers of the Fast Flying Fighting Turd and to 1, 2 and 4 Sqn.
    Great display the Super Hornet, most impressive. Wettest parade I have ever seen, the troops got hammered..

  • random


    Easily forgotten that these units were actually Army and not Airforce – so technically Army’s flying corps is also 100 years young – albeit with a break in play. My grandfather was AFC and he was most distinctly Army, as were many of his colleagues from WW1.

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