No. 9 Squadron was a unit of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The squadron was formed in early 1939 and saw active service in World War II as a fleet co-operation unit providing aircrews for seaplanes operating off Royal Australian Navy cruisers. It was disbanded in late 1944, but was re-raised in 1962 and later became an Army co-operation unit, flying helicopters in support of Australian troops during the Vietnam War. The squadron was disbanded in 1989 when the RAAF transferred its battlefield helicopters to the Australian Army's aviation regiments.
|No. 9 Squadron RAAF|
A No. 9 Squadron Walrus aircraft embarked on an Australian light cruiser in 1939
|Branch||Royal Australian Air Force|
|Engagements||World War II |
|Angus Houston (1987–1989)|
|Helicopter||UH-1 Iroquois |
No. 9 Squadron was formed on 1 January 1939 at RAAF Base Richmond by renumbering No. 5 Squadron. On formation, the squadron's first commanding officer was a Royal Air Force officer, Squadron Leader J.A.S. Brown. As Australia's only fleet co-operation squadron No. 9 Squadron operated amphibious aircraft from the Royal Australian Navy's heavy and light cruisers; each cruiser was assigned a single Seagull or Walrus amphibian.
During the Second World War aircraft from No. 9 Squadron saw action with their parent ships in most of the world's oceans, ranging from the Arctic to the South Pacific on vessels such as HMA Ships Hobart, Sydney, Australia, Perth and Canberra. The amphibians were used to provide their parent ships with reconnaissance, anti-submarine protection, artillery spotting and general support. While the amphibians provided important support during the early years of the war, as the war progressed the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) enjoyed considerable support from land and carrier based aircraft and the amphibians were no longer necessary. In early January 1943, the squadron was transferred to Bowen, Queensland, from where its aircraft flew patrol operations. During 1944, all remaining RAN cruisers had their catapults removed and No. 9 Squadron was disbanded at RAAF Base Rathmines on 31 December 1944. Casualties during the war amounted to 22 killed, many of whom were lost when the ships they were serving on were sunk.
No. 9 Squadron was re-formed at RAAF Base Williamtown on 11 June 1962 equipped initially with Walruses before being re-equipped with UH-1 Iroquois helicopters and moving to RAAF Base Fairbairn. While originally formed to provide the RAAF with a search and rescue capability, the squadron's main role rapidly became providing airlift to the Australian Army.
The squadron deployed to South Vietnam in mid-1966 as part of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) and began flying operations on 30 June 1966. The squadron provided the Task Force with part of its helicopter support, although most of it was provided by the US Army. Problems soon arose between No. 9 Squadron and Army commanders as the Air Board insisted "regulations, framed for peacetime, should apply". This limited the scope of No. 9 Squadron's operations, and according to Owen Eather, prevented the Iroquois helicopters from operating in "'insecure locations' or undertaking roles that were 'offensive'". Eather contends that this "exhibited a lack of awareness by the RAAF of the requirements of the ground force in South Vietnam", and it hampered Army operations to the extent that No. 9 Squadron was temporarily grounded. Alan Stephens, in the official history of the post-war RAAF, asserts however that the latter report is a myth and that squadron records indicate it operated constantly during the period of its supposed grounding between June and September 1966.
During the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966 two No. 9 Squadron Iroquois flown by Flight Lieutenants Cliff Dohle and Frank Riley completed a hazardous mission to resupply D Company, 6 RAR which was heavily outnumbered and running dangerously low on ammunition. The mission proved vital in ensuring the survival of the Australian infantry until a relief force could fight its way through from Nui Dat and was completed despite heavy rain and the risk of ground fire. Following the withdrawal of the Viet Cong a number of helicopters were used to evacuate the Australian casualties from the battlefield. RAAF-Army relations improved considerably following Long Tan. No. 9 Squadron subsequently developed new operational concepts and procedures, achieving consistently high rates of aircraft availability, mission success and a low loss rate. A close professional relationship was also developed with the Special Air Service which saw the squadron provide rapid and precise insertion and extraction of patrols into jungle landing zones at tree top height.
While deployed to Vietnam, in 1967 the squadron was re-equipped with updated versions of the Iroquois, and was also reinforced with personnel from the RAN and the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Operations in South Vietnam proved hazardous, with aircrews regularly exposed to ground fire, poor flying conditions, nighttime medevacs and dangerously small jungle landing zones that were sometimes booby trapped with land mines. The unit lost seven Iroquois and two crewmen in action during its deployment. As part of the general Australian withdrawal, No. 9 Squadron departed South Vietnam on 8 December 1971. Upon its return to Australia, No. 9 Squadron was based at RAAF Base Amberley, where it continued to provide airlift to the Australian Army and search and rescue for the civilian community. Between 1982 and 1986, the squadron contributed eight aircraft and aircrew to the Australian helicopter detachment which formed part of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.
In 1986, the Australian Government decided to transfer all of the RAAF's battlefield helicopter capability to the Australian Army after a decision that all battlefield helicopters should be controlled directly by the Army – a decision partly based on the Vietnam experience and problems that arose during the first few months of the deployment by having No. 9 Squadron based in Vung Tau under separate command, rather than co-located with 1 ATF at Nui Dat, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) north. This had caused a number of problems with support for the task force with the Army initially regarding No. 9 Squadron as being unreliable and unwilling to expose themselves to enemy fire, unlike US Army units.
During February 1988, No. 9 Squadron was re-equipped with S-70A Blackhawk helicopters. Upon converting to the new aircraft the squadron moved to Townsville where it was disbanded on 14 February 1989. The squadron's aircrew and aircraft were then used to form 'A' Squadron of the Australian Army's 5th Aviation Regiment. The squadron's last commanding officer was Wing Commander (later Air Chief Marshal) Angus Houston.
No. 9 Squadron operated the following aircraft types:
9 Squadron or 9th Squadron may refer to:
No. 9 Squadron RAAF, a unit of the Australian Royal Air Force
No. 9 Squadron (India), a unit of the Union of India Air Force
No. 9 Squadron RNZAF, a unit of the New Zealand Royal Air Force
No. 9 Squadron (Pakistan Air Force), also known as the Griffins, a unit of the Pakistan Air Force.
No. IX Squadron RAF, a unit of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force
9th Fighter Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
9th Bomb Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
9th Special Operations Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
9th Space Operations Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
9th Airlift Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
9th Operational Weather Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 9, a unit of the United States Navy
9 Squadron (Belgian Air Force), a unit of the Belgian Air ComponentGround combat squadrons
9 Parachute Squadron RE, a unit of the United Kingdom Army's Royal EngineersAerospace Operational Support Group RAAF
The Aerospace Operational Support Group was a support group of the Australian Defence Force based at RAAF Base Edinburgh. It was disbanded in 2016, and reformed as the Air Warfare Centre.AOSG provided integrated, deployable operational support to Air Force, Army Aviation and some Navy combat elements to ensure platform and crew survivability, battle worthiness and mission effectiveness. AOSG delivered information, protection, confidence and assurance to ADF aviation and EW capable Navy platforms and crew from acquisition, through transition into service and full operational capability with the operating Wing or unit.Air Mobility Group RAAF
Air Mobility Group (AMG) is one of six force element groups in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It is responsible for airlift and air-to-air refuelling operations.Battle of Long Tan
The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) took place in a rubber plantation near Long Tân, in Phước Tuy Province, South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. The action was fought between Viet Cong (VC) and People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) units and elements of the 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF). 1 ATF began arriving between April and June 1966, constructing a base at Nui Dat.
Australian signals intelligence (SIGINT) had tracked the 275th Regiment moving to a position just north of Long Tan. By 16 August, the PAVN were positioned near Long Tan outside the range of the artillery at Nui Dat. On the night of 16/17 August, mortars, recoilless rifles (RCLs) attacked Nui Dat from a position 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) to the east, which damaged the base and wounding 24 and killing 1, until a counter-battery caused it to cease. The next morning B Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), departed Nui Dat to locate the firing points and the direction of the VC withdrawal and weapon pits were found including mortars and RCLs. D Company clashed with PAVN around midday August 18th. Facing a larger force, D Company had called down artillery in the monsoon. Heavy fighting ensued as the PAVN/VC attempted to encircle and destroy the Australians. After several hours two UH-1B Iroquois from No. 9 Squadron RAAF arrived overhead to resupply them. Supported by strong artillery fire, D Company held off a regimental assault before a relief force of cavalry and infantry from Nui Dat had reinforced them at night-time. The Australian forces had withdrawn to evacuate their casualties and formed a defensive position overnight. The next day Australian forces had swept the area though the PAVN/VC had withdrawn. The operation ended on 21 August. Although 1 ATF initially thought it had suffered a defeat, it was later thought to have been a victory in setting back the PAVN/VC from moving against Nui Dat.
The PAVN 275th Regiment and VC D445 Battalion held different interpretations of the battle's outcome. The D445 Battalion regarded the battle as a victory, with the initial mortaring intended to draw out 6 RAR units into an ambush. Following the initial ambush and due to the D445 Battalion holding the ground until the next day, this was regarded as political victory as they had secured the areas around Long Tan village itself. The 275th Regiment regard the battle as an operational failure as they were unable to wipe out the entire company, but consider that they gained a political victory by forcing a retreat until the next morning and earning greater support from the people of Phuoc Tuy. Additionally, whether the battle impaired the 275th Regiment is disputed, as they had launched attacks against the ARVN 18th Division a week later. The impact of the battle on the combat capability of the D445 Battalion is also in dispute, as they were redeployed against the 11th Armored Cavalry Task Force a month following the battle.Several subsequent controversies about the battle arose, including fabrication of official events and embellishment of the roles of some senior officers, disputes over casualties, size of the attacking forces, and official histories of the battle which cite purported documents and anecdotal claims which remain uncorroborated. Australian official records of 245 PAVN/VC casualties led to some dissension from soldiers due to accusations body-counts were being inflated for public-relations purposes. Official records from the D445 Battalion and 275th Regiment indicate only 47 were KIA. One North Vietnamese regimental source states 150 were killed at the battle, and the 6 RAR D Company commander stating he "never saw more than 50 bodies". The true nature of the casualties sustained remains elusive, given that body counts were directly used to assess performance in the records of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV).Combat Support Group RAAF
The Combat Support Group is part of the Royal Australian Air Force.Governor-General's Flight RAAF
The Governor-General's Flight was a Royal Australian Air Force transport unit. The Governor-General's Flight was formed at RAAF Station Canberra on 4 April 1945. The unit was equipped with an Avro York named 'Endeavour', an Avro Anson and a Percival Proctor. Although the Flight initially only provided transport for the Governor-General of Australia its role was later expanded to include carrying the Prime Minister and other dignitaries. The Governor-General's Flight was disbanded on 10 July 1947 and No. 1 Communication Unit assumed responsibility for VIP transport. The Flight was re-raised on 1 July 1948 equipped with a B-24 Liberator and a Dakota. The Flight was disbanded for a second and final time on 1 October 1950 with the VIP transport role being transferred to No. 36 Squadron.List of Royal Australian Air Force Communication Units
During and shortly after World War II the Royal Australian Air Force formed 13 Communication Units. These flight-sized units performed a wide range of support roles including transport, supplying isolated garrisons and supporting training. The Communication Units typically operated small numbers of several types of aircraft.List of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft squadrons
This is a list of Royal Australian Air Force aircraft squadrons. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was formed in 1921 and traces its lineage to the previous Australian Flying Corps that served during World War I. The list also includes those squadrons that were under Australian and British operational control during World War II, and squadrons that were operated jointly by the RAAF and the Netherlands East Indies.No. 112 Air-Sea Rescue Flight RAAF
No. 112 Air-Sea Rescue Flight was a Royal Australian Air Force unit of World War II. The Flight was formed at Darwin, Northern Territory on 23 December 1944 and was equipped with PBY Catalinas. The Flight's role was to carry out search and rescue operations as well as air-sea rescue support to other aircraft during attacks on Japanese targets.
Following the end of the War No. 112 Air-Sea Rescue Flight evacuated former prisoners of war from Borneo and Morotai to Australia and provided a regular courier and supply service to Australian outposts in East Timor and the Northern Territory. The Flight was disbanded at Darwin on 16 September 1947.No. 2 Air Ambulance Unit RAAF
No. 2 Air Ambulance Unit RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force air ambulance unit of World War II. The Unit was formed on 1 March 1942 at RAAF Base Fairbairn and flew its first operational sortie on 7 March. No. 2 Air Ambulance Unit operated throughout Australia during 1942 and began flights to New Guinea in 1943.
Although it remained based in Australia, No. 2 Air Ambulance Unit supported the Allied forces engaged in the New Guinea campaign until the end of the war. Following the end of the war the Unit flew Australian prisoners of war home until November 1945 when its aircraft were transferred to No. 36 Squadron's Air Ambulance Flight. No. 2 Air Ambulance Unit was disbanded on 8 December 1945.No. 35 Squadron RAAF
No. 35 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) transport unit. Formed in 1942, No. 35 Squadron operated during World War II, transporting cargo and passengers around Australia, New Guinea and the Netherlands East Indies, equipped with a variety of aircraft including the Douglas Dakota. It was disbanded after the war, but was re-raised in the 1960s for service during the Vietnam War, flying transportation and resupply operations with DHC-4 Caribous in support of Australian and US forces. The squadron was subsequently augmented with rotary-wing aircraft, operating UH-1 Iroquois in both the transportation and gunship roles. In the late 1980s, the squadron returned to a solely fixed-wing transport role. It ceased operations in 2000, but was re-raised in January 2013. It began re-equipping with C-27 Spartan transports in 2015.No. 396 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing RAAF
No. 396 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing (396 ECSW) is a ground support wing of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Part of the Combat Support Group, it is responsible for the provision of combat and base support services and maintains the RAAF's "bare bases" at Weipa, Exmouth and Derby in the northern part of Australia's airspace. The wing consists of three expeditionary combat support squadrons, one combat support squadron, an operations support squadron, a combat logistics squadron and two support units, which are located at various bases all around Australia, and in Malaysia at RMAF Butterworth.No. 4 Forward Air Control Flight RAAF
No. 4 Forward Air Control Flight was a Royal Australian Air Force forward air control training unit. The Flight was formed on 1 April 1970 at RAAF Base Williamtown and was equipped with four CAC Winjeel aircraft. The Flight was responsible for training RAAF, Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army pilots and participated in most Australian military exercises. No. 4 Forward Air Control Flight was disbanded on 1 January 1989 and became 'C' Flight of the newly reformed No. 76 Squadron. No. 4 Squadron is the RAAF's current forward air control unit.No. 5 Squadron RAAF
No. 5 Squadron was a Royal Australian Air Force training, army co-operation and helicopter squadron. The squadron was formed in 1917 as a training unit of the Australian Flying Corps in Britain, readying pilots for service on the Western Front. It subsequently became a naval fleet co-operation squadron, but was later redesignated as No. 9 Squadron RAAF before being re-formed as an army co-operation squadron during World War II. In the mid-1960s, it was re-formed as a helicopter squadron, before being disbanded in December 1989, when it was used to form the Australian Defence Force Helicopter Training School.No. 85 Wing RAAF
No. 85 Wing is a Royal Australian Air Force wing. The wing is responsible for planning and coordinating training for the RAAF's Air Lift Group.Order of battle for the Battle of Long Tan
This is an order of battle listing the Australian and Viet Cong forces involved in the Battle of Long Tan which occurred in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam on 18 August 1966.RAAF Washington Flying Unit
The RAAF Washington Flying Unit was a temporary Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) unit formed to ferry Australia's first twelve General Dynamics F-111C aircraft from the United States to Australia. It was formed in March 1973 and disbanded in July of that year after the ferry flights were completed.Seaplane Training Flight RAAF
The Seaplane Training Flight was a Royal Australian Air Force unit responsible for providing seaplane conversion training to RAAF air and ground crew.
The Seaplane Training Flight was established on 1 March 1940 at RAAF Base Rathmines in New South Wales. Initially equipped with two Supermarine Seagull aircraft the Flight received Consolidated Catalina aircraft in the second half of 1940 and a small number of Vought Kingfisher aircraft in early 1942.
As part of the expansion of the RAAF's seaplane units the Seaplane Training Flight was expanded to form No. 3 Operational Training Unit on 28 December 1942.Surveillance and Response Group RAAF
The Surveillance and Response Group is a Force Element Group (FEG) of the Royal Australian Air Force with its headquarters at RAAF Base Williamtown.
The group was formed on 30 March 2004 by amalgamating the Maritime Patrol Group and the Surveillance and Control Group. At this time it had a strength of over 2,100 personnel, and comprised No. 41, No. 44 and No. 92 Wings. No. 42 Wing became part of the group when it was re-formed on 1 January 2006.
|Article XV squadrons|
|Joint Netherlands-Australian squadrons|
Military units and formations of the Royal Australian Air Force