The former Executive Officer of Headquarters Air Academy has been appointed as the new commanding officer of the recently reformed RAAF No. 100 Squadron.
Wing Commander Philip Beanland said he felt “extremely privileged” to take the role for the unit that will have the motto “then, now, always” and its own unique badge.
The reformed organisation, which began in February 1942, will fly heritage aircraft and mark the force’s centenary from from Point Cook, Victoria, and Temora, NSW.
WGCDR Beanland said he looked forward to working with aircraft he called precious national artefacts.
“I will draw on my range of operational and training experience to lead 100 Squadron by applying contemporary airworthiness practices, safely and effectively,” he said.
“The heritage fleet of No. 100 Squadron will continue to recognise previous generations and their service to our country and inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.”
Meanwhile, Commander Air Force Training Group Air Commodore Greg Frisina said No. 100 Squadron was formed in a “contemporary flying squadron structure” to support the complex operation of flying heritage aircraft.
“The commanding officer has a significant role to play in a disparate command and will be ably supported by an executive team and engineering staff,” AIRCDRE Frisina said.
“The link with history and heritage will still be maintained, so visitors to the RAAF Museum of old will not be disappointed.
“The museum will house an updated history and heritage ground display and professional flying displays from the aviators of No. 100 Squadron.”
Last week, Australian Aviation reported how No. 100 Squadron will fly aircraft from the current heritage fleet including a Spitfire, DH Vampire and Tiger Moth.
In its past incarnation, the unit most notably carried out the RAAF’s first Beaufort operation resulting in the crucial sinking of a Japanese merchant vessel.
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 the British RAF’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.
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 squadron’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.”
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
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