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5 Squadron RAAF 2017 Centenary of Formation Reunion.



Thanks to Martin "Dutchy" Holland who organised the event and sent us the pics.  



On the weekend of the 20th October 2017, 478 ex serving members of 5 Squadron gathered to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the formation of 5 Squadron RAAF. The reunion ran over the entire weekend.



Members attended the Last Post ceremony at the Australian War memorial (AWM) to kick things off. Starting at 1655, the Last Post Ceremony was a solemn and reflective moment where the President of the 4/5 Squadron Association, Bob Watts, laid a wreath on the Squadron’s behalf. The members then moved to the 5 Squadron Plaque located in the grounds of the AWM where the RAAF Chaplain, Robyn Kidd (above) made a short speech and rededicated the Plaque. All the while the rain slowly fell from the sky.


All names left to right:




Bob Watts laying a Wreath at the AWM on behalf of the 4/5 Squadron Association.




Graeme Rule and Stan Flack.




David McCann and Bruce Moore.




Greg and Karen Millen, Robyn and Greg Bushnell.




Dick MacKerras and Ann McLeod.




Heather Smith, Joanne Frizza and Lorraine Stone.




Ray Smith and Bruce Stone.




You know you’re getting old when everything hurts – and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work.




A rather happy and upbeat crowd then started to rekindle old friendships causing somewhat of a headache for the poor Photographer. Photography done everyone retired to Poppy's Cafe for a quick drink whilst the AWM caterers readied the ANZAC Hall. 60 Bottles of red wine and 20 bottles of white wine later (in about an hour) they moved into the ANZAC Hall. The evening was amazing with friends waiting to say hello at every turn.


The buses arrived around 2100 to take the older members of our fraternity home but the stayers hung on as long as the AWM staff would let them. It is believed that some stayed until 2.00 o’clock in the morn.




Greg and Karen Millen.




Tex Finnerty and Barry Pumphrey.




Brian Dirou.




Graham Sutcliffe and Phil Larter.




Bruce Moore, John Gibson and Peter Buckley.




Pat and Sue Darcy.




Peter Wilde, Gordon Watts and Dennis Wilkes.




John Boatman, Mark Cini and Mark Monkley.




Maria Harding and Phyllis Waters.




Rob Nedwich, Dennis Roles, Kevin Erwin, Earle Murray.



Saturday morning saw clear and cool blue skies over Canberra. The day was left free so that members could catch up with old mates in a more intimate environment. A number of groups got together during the day for lunch. Saturday afternoon buses started transporting 478 members and partners to Defence Establishment Fairbairn. Our Reunion Credentials were all that was needed to access the base and members de-bused adjacent to 'Hanna' our Huey (right) so generously loaned to us by Phil O'Driscoll the mayor of Humpty Doo in the NT. Phil is owed an enduring debt of gratitude for his generosity. The sound of Hanna overflying Canberra was heard by nearly every 5 Squadron alumni in town. A big thank you also to Richard 'Broomy' Broughham and Dave 'Rowie' Rowe for flying her in for us.





The organising committee collected swags of Memorabilia including the Aircrew Conversion Course photos.



At Fairbairn, members walked down the entry corridor next to a fence wrap depicting the history of 5 Squadron and into our Ancestral Home, Hangar 46. The hangar had put on her best clothes and completed the ensemble with a marquee and where many a drink was had and many a tale, tall and otherwise was told.




Lady Houston and Sir Angus Houston with Garry Watt.







Neil Thompson and Peter Hayton.




Ian and Connie Warburton.




Dick Joyce, Rob Bromage, Stan Flack, Alan Colgrave, Wayne Carroll, Dags Dorward, George Tasker, Doug Pickering and George ' Blue' Carseldine.    5 Squadron Elecos.




“Dutchy” Holland with Bruce Martin (First CO of 5 Squadron Fairbairn).




Henry Kwaczynski, Adam Samulski and John Nicholls.



History of 5 Squadron RAAF.


5 Squadron was first formed in England in 1917, as a training squadron for the Australian Flying Corps (AFC). After the First World War the squadron was reformed as a fleet cooperation squadron, working with the RAN and flying amphibious aircraft. In January 1941 5 Squadron became an army cooperation squadron, serving on Bougainville at the end of the war. On 4 May 1964 the squadron was reformed at RAAF Base Fairbairn, near Canberra, with four new Bell UH-1B Iroquois "Huey", helicopters. A month later, in June, the squadron moved to RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia.


Although the Malayan Emergency was over, Indonesia hostility towards Malaysia continued. As the tension escalated, the British and Malaysian governments repeatedly requested that Australian troops be deployed to Borneo. These requests were refused but Australia did agree for its troops to help defend the Malayan peninsula. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), was deployed to Malaysia in July 1963, as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve. In April 1964 the Australian government announced it would also send a field engineering squadron for duty in east Malaysia, while a light anti-aircraft battery and 5 Squadron's four Iroquois helicopters, later increased to six helicopters, would be based at Butterworth. The RAAF would also routinely fly troops and supplies between Malaya and Borneo. Two RAN coastal minesweepers would help patrol the waters around Borneo. 5 Squadron was to operate along the Thai border region.


During late June and early July 5 Squadron pilots began flying familiarisation exercises in the jungle areas of north-east and south-east Ipoh, where they were assisted by members of 10 Squadron, Royal Air Force (RAF). On 7 July several airmen were flown to Vung Tau, South Vietnam, to study American methods of helicopter maintenance. A detachment from the squadron also took part in a joint exercise with 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade and the RAF.


On 8 September a small party of Australian soldiers were reported missing close to the Thai border and the squadron helped in the search-and-rescue operation. The missing soldiers and a ground rescue team were located on 10 September and they were winched out of the jungle three days later.


During October the squadron flew 420 sorties, mostly supporting 3RAR, transporting 250 troops to and from landing zones. Several sorties were also carried out in cooperation with Senio Praak troops, and the Special Branch Malayan Police Force. On 18 November a helicopter from the squadron was detached to RAF Seletar to support the Singapore Regiment against Indonesian infiltrators in the East Johore area.


Throughout January 1965 the squadron transported both Malaysian and Australian personnel, and also carried out reconnaissance sorties, communication flights, and medical evacuations. Similarly, in April and May the squadron flew a number of missions in support of the 1st Malaysian Rangers, the Senio Praak troops, and Malayan special police branch.


From July 1964 to 5 April 1966, 5 Squadron moved 21,638 passengers and 760,653 pounds of freight, and carried out 727 medial evacuations.


Confrontation came to an end in August 1966, by which time the main focus of Australia's military commitment was in Vietnam. It was thought that 5 Squadron would be sent to Vietnam to support the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) but 9 Squadron was deployed instead.


On 12 April, 5 Squadron, still at Butterworth, became 5 Squadron Detachment "C", while 9 Squadron, at Fairbairn, was renumbered 5 Squadron. Having existed for less than a day, 9 Squadron was reformed on 13 April, with eight Iroquois from 5 Squadron. This allowed 9 Squadron it to be sent to Vietnam, while 5 Squadron was based at Fairbairn. The two squadrons were closely associated for the rest of the war, both in training and service in Vietnam.


5 Squadron Detachment "C" remained at Butterworth and continued transporting personnel and equipment, and undertaking sorties in support of Malaysian forces, until it disbanded on 23 May 1966.


5 Squadron remained at Fairbairn until it disbanded on 9 December 1989.




If age is all in the mind, how come it keeps creeping down into the body.




26 Radio APPY


On Friday the 27th October, Pygmy McAndrew and his mates organised a get together for blokes who were on 26 Appy back in 1974. The reunion for the blokes and their ladies was held at the Maroochydore RSL Club on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.


Those present included:



Brian and Helen Collins.
Brian and Jenny Dittman.
Ian Champion.
Jill and Pygmy McAndrew.
Leanne Richards,  Graham Crossley,  Ian Champion.
Paul and Evelyn Daniels.
Peter and Marion Harry.
Peter and Stephanie Willows.
Rob and Jenny Mckay,
Steve Dickeson,  Helen and Lindsay Patterson.
The Troops and their Ladies.




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