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RAAF reforms legendary 100 Squadron to fly warbirds

written by Adam Thorn | February 9, 2021
DH-82A Tiger Moth is a part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Temora Historic Flight.
The DH-82A Tiger Moth was a part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Temora Historic Flight in 2014 (Defence)

The RAAF has announced it is to reform the legendary No. 100 Squadron to fly heritage aircraft and mark the force’s centenary.

The group was formed in February 1942 and most notably carried out the RAAF’s first Beaufort operation resulting in the crucial sinking of a Japanese merchant vessel.

No. 100 Squadron will fly aircraft from the current heritage fleet – including a Spitfire, DH Vampire and Tiger Moth – from Point Cook, Victoria, and Temora, NSW. The full list is at the bottom of this article.

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Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said, “First established during the Second World War in February 1942 at RAAF Base Richmond, 100 Squadron was an Air Force bomber and maritime patrol squadron, trained on Australian-built Bristol Beauforts.

“The squadron conducted several successful missions throughout the war, taking part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943, and eventually disbanding in New Guinea on 19 August 1946.
The heritage fleet of 100 Squadron will continue to recognise the service of previous generations and inspiring the next generation of pilots.”

No 100 Squadron was formed from surviving personnel from RAAF’s No 100 Torpedo Bomber Squadron who had escaped from Malaya.

The first RAAF Squadron to be equipped with Australian-built Beauforts, No 100 Squadron was deployed to Queensland in May 1942, where it conducted further torpedo bomber training and anti-submarine patrols.

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Notable deployments also included flying reconnaissance and bombing missions against coastal shipping in Milne Bay, PNG, and conducting the first land-based torpedo strike in 1942 sinking a Japanese cruiser.

“No 100 Squadron also took part in the famous Battle of the Bismarck Sea in March 1943, when eight torpedo-armed Beauforts met with limited success against a dispersed Japanese convoy,” reads its official website.

“This mission proved to be the squadro’s last torpedo-bombing mission and thereafter it operated solely in the level-bombing mode – striking targets by night, in particular, the Japanese fortress at Rabaul.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said, “Temora has an extensive aviation history dating back to the Second World War, where pilots trained at RAAF’s No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School.

“The training school closed after the Second World War on 12 March 1946, but since then Temora has maintained a strong aviation focus, which will now include being part of the rejuvenated No. 100 Squadron.

“Temora Historic Flight will build on to the Riverina’s lengthy contribution to the RAAF, which includes RAAF Base Wagga and the former 5 Service Flying Training School at Uranquinty.

“The Temora Aviation Museum, of course, has played a special role in preserving RAAF history since 2000 by flying and displaying some iconic warplanes, such as the Spitfire.”

The RAAF celebrates its centenary on 31 March 2021. The aircraft flown are:

Point Cook based aircraft:

Mustang VH-SVU A68-170
CT4A VH-NZP A19-077
Sopwith Pup VH-PSP
Harvard VH-HVD NZ1075
Sopwith Snipe VH-SNP
RE8 VH-OTF RE8-1 0003
Winjeel VH-FTS A85-439
Tiger Moth VH-AWA A17-692
P-40 A29-90

Temora Based aircraft:

Canberra VH-ZSQ
Cessna A37 VH-XVA
Spitfire Mk.VIII. VH-HET
DH Vampire VH-VAM
Lockheed Hudson VH-KOY
CAC Wirraway VH-BFF
CAC Sabre VH-IPN
CAC Boomerang VH-MHR
Ryan STM VH-RSY
Meteor F8 VH-MBX
Spitfire Mk.XVI VH-XVI
Tiger Moth VH-UVZ

8 Comments

  • Lee

    says:

    What about 8 EFTS Narrandera?

  • Brian

    says:

    Temora, here I come!

  • James

    says:

    How unfortunate that the RAAF won’t look at jack McDonalds Bristol F2B (painted to represent 1Sqn AFC) at TAVAS. It has already done flybys with 1Sqn Super Hornets over Amberley and Caboolture in previous years.

  • G. Lee

    says:

    There is a typo in the article at present. The original 100 Squadron was made up mostly of British personnel, survivors from 100 Squadron _RAF_ who were evacuated from Singapore in early 1942. The new RAAF squadron was effectively named after the RAF unit.

  • Angelo Calleja

    says:

    Now this is just fantastic the ADF supporting a heretage flight.

  • Gordon Mackinlay

    says:

    During all my service the numbering of Squadrons being reformed constantly came up, the common consensus was that like the RCAF the RAAF should use those which served with the RAF. These raised under the Empire Air Training Scheme or Article XV (the then use of the term Empire meaning ‘Universal’ not Imperial). All of which had extremely good wartime service, whilst No 100 Squadron did come up. It named in memory of No 100 Squadron RAF for its 1941-42 service in Malaya/Singapore, raising as a RAAF Squadron in our numerical numbering system it saw a unit with not a particularly distinguished 42-45 record. The wartime members of The RAAF Association were strongly in favour of ‘new’ squadrons to use the Article XV Numbers. It appears quite plain that this new squadron was purely named on the basis of the PR aspect of the use of ‘100’. Of interest when the AAAvn Corps attempted to have squadrons (for 5th Aviation Regiment) named after VX Squadron’s the then RAAF hierarchy extremely firmly rejected the Army’s proposal. When I wrote a memo stating that it a good link with the Army origins of the RAAF (AFC, AAC), I informed ‘that it bad enough that the Army had obtained the RAAF helo force, without they taking the RAAF wartime history too!!!! Equally, the Army rejected the use of No’s 5, 9 and 12 RAAF for the new squadrons of 5th Aviation Regiment, it stated in the then (now long defunct) Pacific Defence Reporter, that the Army did not want ‘blinkered RAAF concepts’. And today the RAAF making a very good case to regain the tactical transport and attack helo forces back under their control and administration. As much as I once forcefully advocated the handover, regretfully the maintenance and training woes of the Army aviation would make it commonsense (I would however state that aircrew and operations staff be army in order to fight the Air-Land Battle!

  • Roger Wotherspoon

    says:

    It’s a pity that the Deputy Prime Minister did’nt mention Point Cook – the longest continually operational airbase in the world – the home of the Australian Airforce.

  • Joshua James

    says:

    Fantastic news! Curious to see they didn’t include the P-3s at HARS but I guess they weren’t in the agreement between the RAAF and Temora. Wonder if they’ll keep a Hornet flying after their retirement?

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