RAAF squadron marks 100 years
After serving in two world wars and numerous deployments and commitments around the world, Amberley-based 1 Squadron RAAF celebrated its 100th anniversary last week.
The squadron was formed under the Australian Flying Corps in October 1916, and saw action in the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns during World War I.
A commemorative service was held on October 28 at RAAF Williamstown, near Newcastle, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of 1,2,3 and 4 Squadrons.
The Officer-In-Charge of the Centenary Planning Committee, Group Captain Terry van Haren DSM, said it was an important event and a significant milestone.
"Centenary celebrations have been simple, yet elegant acknowledgements 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," Grp Capt Van Haren said.
While the day showcased the innovation and evolution of RAAF airpower, Grp Capt Van Haren said former and serving members were celebrated.
"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."
Starting with the BE2 biplane light bomber in 1916, 1 Squadron has flown a variety of aircraft, including Lockheed Hudson, the first RAAF aircaft in action in the Pacific War in 1941, De Havilland Mosquito and Avro Lincoln bombers.
While operating the Lincoln, 1 Squadron deployed to Singapore from 1950 to 1958, where it flew more than 4,000 missions harassing the Communist Terrorists during the Malayan Emergency, dropping more than 14,000 tonnes of bombs, an estimated 85% of the total dropped by all Commonwealth air forces.
Later, 1 Squadron converted to the RAAF's first jet bomber, the English Electric Canberra, and the F-111 bomber.
Currently it uses the F/A-18F Super Hornet.