No. 25 Squadron RAAF
|No. 25 Squadron RAAF|
An RAAF Aermacchi MB-326, flown by No. 25 Squadron until 1998
|Active||3 May 1937 –|
|Branch||Royal Australian Air Force|
|Role||Air Force Reserves|
|Garrison/HQ||RAAF Base Pearce|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Raymond Brownell (1938–40)
Neville McNamara (1957–59)
No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron is a general reserve squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force. The squadron is based at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, and forms part of the Combat Reserve Wing.
No. 25 Squadron was originally formed at RAAF Base Laverton in Victoria, on 3 May 1937 and was initially known as No. 23 (City of Perth) Squadron. It was originally tasked with providing support for the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy, as well as pilot training. The squadron has been based at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, since 1938. It was renamed 25 Squadron on 1 January 1939. Following the declaration of World War II, the squadron was allocated Australian built Wirraways and then Brewster Buffalo after Japan entered the war. With these two obsolete aircraft 25 Squadron was tasked with providing the air defence of Perth. The squadron was re-equipped with Vultee Vengeance dive bombers in August 1943, and began joint exercises with the Army.
In January 1945, the squadron was re-equipped with B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and flew its first bombing mission two months later out of Cunderdin—refuelling in northern WA at Corunna Downs and/or Truscott—to bomb targets in the Dutch East Indies. For the rest of the war, 25 Squadron was tasked with attacking Japanese shipping and base facilities in the Dutch East Indies. The squadron assisted in the Allied landings at Brunei Bay in northern Borneo. In the months following the end of the war, No. 25 Squadron aircraft evacuated liberated prisoners of war to Australia from Morotai and Borneo. The squadron was disbanded in July 1946.
No. 25 Squadron was reformed in April 1948 as a Citizen Air Force unit based out of Pearce. Between 1948 and 1960, the squadron trained reservist pilots and ground crew. After receiving the de Havilland Vampire jets the squadron also took over the responsibility for maintaining a fighter presence in Western Australia. In 1960, the squadron's flying role ceased and it began to concentrate on providing ground support for Permanent Air Force units. In 1989, the squadron resumed flying operations with the Italian built Macchi jet trainer, conducting jet introduction training and fleet support for the Royal Australian Navy. With the introduction of the Macchi in 1989 and with a Permanent Air Force component, 25 Squadron was the only reserve unit with operational aircraft.
On 1 July 1998 the Permanent Air Force component separated from the reserve element and reformed as No. 79 Squadron, and the flying operations were reassigned to it. No. 25 Squadron returned to its role of providing a reserve pool of trained personnel to the Air Force. Today the squadron forms part of the Combat Reserve Wing.