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75 Squadron

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Formed in Queensland in March 1942, 75 Squadron was to become one of the RAAF's most famous units. Equipped with American-built Kittyhawk fighters, and with only one weeks training, the Squadron flew to New Guinea. 
On the afternoon of their arrival two Kittyhawks shot down a Japanese bomber, while the next day saw the squadron destroy twelve enemy aircraft during an attack on Lae airfield. 

After this most successful beginning, 75 Squadron went on to extract a heavy toll on the Japanese. 

Continuous combat took its toll on both men and machine and after six weeks of fighting, a battle weary 75 Squadron - with just one serviceable Kittyhawk left - was relieved and returned to Australia. During its first forty four days of combat, 75 Squadron destroyed thirty four enemy aircraft and damaged a further forty four. Sadly, the Squadrons heroic defence of Port Moresby did come at a terrible price - twelve pilots were killed and many more wounded. 

A replenished 75 Squadron returned to New Guinea in August and joined with 76 Squadron in the defence of Milne Bay. Soon after their arrival, a Japanese invasion force steaming towards Milne Bay came under attack from Squadron Kittyhawks modified to carry bombs. 

Although a number of ships were damaged, the Japanese convoy sailed into Milne Bay on the 24 August, disembarking their troops before dawn. At first light, the Kittyhawks began shuttle attacks against landing barges, stores and troops. Despite torrential rain and appalling conditions ground personnel worked tirelessly to refuel and rearmed the Kittyhawks. Although Australian ground forces were contesting every yard, the enemy was soon so close, the Kittyhawks guns were firing before their undercarriages had retracted. 

Gradually the Australians gained the upperhand and when it became apparent to the Japanese that the battle was lost, Japanese ships under the relative protection of darkness, entered Milne Bay and embarked what troops and equipment they could. 

After playing its part in the first defeat of Japanese ground forces in the Pacific War, 75 Squadron - operating from a succession of bases - continued to attack Japanese garrisons for the duration of the war. 

The squadrons first permanent deployment after the war, saw 75 squadron personnel, operating RAF Vampire jet fighters, in defence of the Mediterranean island of Malta. 

After the squadron's return to Australia in 1955, the Vampires were soon replaced by the highly manoeuvable Sabre. This popular aircraft was in turn replaced by the supersonic Mirage in August 1965. 

In 1967, 75 squadron deployed to Malaysia and after sixteen years in Butterworth, returned to Australia. By 1988 the squadron had moved to its present location at Tindal in the Northern Territory, and from here it continues to operate the multi-role F-18 Hornets in the defence of northern Australia. 
 

 

Our people in the Gulf 
(RAAF NEWS
As pressure intensifies on the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to disarm, Royal Australian Air Force elements forward deployed to the Middle East are prepared for any contingency.
 
Armament technicians prepare
 missiles for attachment to Australia’s 
14 F/A-18 Hornets from 
No. 75 Squadron.

 

Ground crews work on F/A-18s from 
No. 75 Squadron amid a dust storm.

Darwin Detachment '66
(Mal Pryor)

Gunnies - seated from left - 1 - Mal Pryor, 6 - Blue Clavan, 7 - John  Currie.


75 SQN WLM

75 SQN 1967 WLM
Ready for Malaysia

75 SQN 1967

75 SQN Butterworth 1967

75 SQN DARWIN DET LATE 1966

75 Sqn BERRY SPRINGS NOV 1966

75 SQN SABRE DAYS
(Kev Marrinon)

Hal Webber and Owen Milton 
 

75 Squadron

Gunnery over Song Song

Mirages over Butterworth
(John Larsen)

Mirages over Butterworth
(John Larsen)

George's Stage
George Newbury's Stage Entrance
Photo taken at Butterworth about 1969-that's George in the background between the tails of the first and second aircraft. he had just taken a gunpack from 3 sqn down to 478 and was wondering why the guys on the big yellow stand were waving at him.

 

2 OCU Tail.JPG (36853 bytes)

 

Available from:
The Kittyhawk Partnership,
PO Box 12-779
Penrose
Auckland, NZ.
Fax: 64 9636 7978
Email: 
garth@pap.co.nz
 
I note that a new page has appeared about 75 Sqn. and it's heartening to see
that people still remember the part they played in the defence of Australia.
My wife's uncle (Winka Geoff Atherton) was an original pilot with 75 Sqn.
and at one stage was their Sqn. Ldr. (hence the sqn. code GA). When he died
in 1980 I came into possession of his wartime memorabilia.
It was because of this that I was contacted a few years ago by two blokes
from Auckland NZ. one of whom secured a number of aircraft wrecks from New
Guinea, particularly Tadji, in the early 1970's. and they were keen to look
through the photo albums in particular, and gleaned a lot of additional
information about their aircraft as a result.
One of the aircraft removed from Tadji was a 75 Sqn. Kittyhawk, A29-448,
GA-C, which has now been restored to absolute original condition and is
flying out of Auckland. ( I went for a fly in the 'second seat' in Nov.
2000. i.e. a second seat has been installed behind the pilot where the
in-fuse fuel tank used to be)
This aircraft was flown by F/O Stan Hunt at Milne Bay, and is the only
flying Kitty in existence that has a combat history. It ran off the strip
at Tadji and was just 'moved to the side' along with many others, and that
is where it was resurrected from.
There has been a book written about this aircraft which goes into the
history of 75, some antidotes from some of it's pilots, (still living in
Australia} the story of it's retrieval and resurrection, including very
in-depth stories of the radios, armaments and systems.
I bring it to your attention as it's something many of our colleagues may
well have an interested in reading.
Neville Rourke

 

Darwin Detachment '66
(Mal Pryor)

 

75 Sqn (mirages) Darwin around 1986
(Jerry Musk)
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Photo 0001: from the left Wags Wagland, Mick Rodwell, Bruce Tough, Baz Giddy, Jerry Musk, Dick Flack (D), Dave Mcnought, Dunston, Glen Wadham, Mouse Hemmsley, Daryl Williams, Sid Mitchell, Mick Wilcox, Mark Imber, Dicko, Bung Owen, "Percy"

 

 

 

 

F18's Mid Air Refuelling Iraq
(Matt Scales)
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I am in the US Air Force and my wing (the 117th Air Refuelling Wing) 
flew some missions to support you guys. 
I found your website after returning home from the middle east. 
These pictures were taken from our planes of yours during our time over there

 

 

 

75 Sqn Butterworth
(Brian Stewart)

75 Sqn Flight Line
WAP leaning on supersonic tank, coke in hand
Note: cockpits closed in that heat??

 

75 Sqn hatching some 500 lb'ers?
"F" Type Trolley and "Scout"

Awaiting aircraft to hang the bombs on

A view of the hangar at Bworth
Arm Sect on right

 

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