Linda Corbould

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Linda Corbould
Linda Corbould on the flight deck of a C-17 aircraft.jpg
Wing Commander Linda Corbould training in a USAF Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
Born Tasmania, Australia
Service/branch Royal Australian Air Force
Years of service 1981–2011
Rank Wing Commander
Commands held No. 36 Squadron (2006–08)
Battles/wars Somalia
East Timor
Iraq War
Awards Medal of the Order of Australia

Wing Commander Linda Mary Corbould OAM is a retired officer of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), who was the first woman to command a RAAF flying squadron. She joined the RAAF in 1981, and became one of its first female pilots in the early 1990s. Corbould flew transport aircraft, including during the Iraq War in 2003, and commanded No. 36 Squadron from 2006 to 2008. She retired from the RAAF in 2011.


Linda Corbould was raised in Tasmania, Australia and joined the RAAF in 1981. As women could not become pilots in the RAAF at the time, she served as an air traffic controller until 1990 when pilot training was opened up to women.[1] During this period she took up skydiving, and became a national champion in the sport. In 1985 she represented Australia at the skydiving world championships which were held in Turkey.[1]

After completing flight training, Corbould became the third female member of the RAAF to gain her 'wings'[1] and was subsequently posted to No 36 Squadron and flew C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Corbould served as deputy commander of the C-130 Hercules detachment which formed part of the Australian contribution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for planning and commanding a flight into Baghdad on the night of 12/13 April 2003.[2][3] In October 2003 she met United States President George W. Bush during his visit to Australia.[4] Corbould eventually amassed 15 years of experience as a C-130 pilot.[5] She completed a Diploma of Military Studies at the Australian Command and Staff College during 2005.[6]

In 2006, Wing Commander Corbould oversaw the RAAF's program to accept the C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft into service.[5][7] She assumed command of No. 36 Squadron RAAF on 17 November 2006 and delivered the RAAF's first C-17 from the United States to Australia on 4 December 2006.[1][8][9] Corbould completed her posting as commander of the squadron on 8 December 2008.[10] On this day she also led the RAAF's first all-female aircrew during a training flight.[11] Corbould was subsequently appointed the Senior Air Force Officer in Tasmania, a position she had requested.[5] She retired from the RAAF on 8 May 2011 after completing 30 years of service, but remained an officer in the Air Force Reserve.[12][6]

In July 2015 Corbould was the keynote speaker at a RAAF Association reunion in Launceston.[13] In November that year she was appointed a member of the Veterans' Review Board, which is an independent statutory authority that assesses decisions made by several Australian Government agencies concerning grants and pensions for ex-service personnel.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d Banham, Cynthia (17 November 2006). "Breaking glass ceiling all in a day's flying for this ace". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "War on Iraq units honoured". The Age. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "CORBOULD, Linda Mary". It's an Honour. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Lowe, Michael (29 December 2003). "Medal recognition for Tassie top gun". The Examiner. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Armstrong, John (11 August 2008). "C-17 Global Airlift for Defence Force Operations". City West News. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "VRB Members' Biographies". Veterans' Review Board. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Royal Australian Air Force Squadrons Celebrate New Role". Press release. The Hon Brendan Nelson MP. 17 November 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Walker, Frank (10 December 2006). "We have touchdown: RAAF welcomes giant transporter". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "First C-17 arrives in Australia". Image gallery. Department of Defence. 4 December 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Celebrating the C-17 Globemaster" (Press release). The Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Bedo, Stephanie (9 December 2008). "Misses master a RAAF monster". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Departure Lounge". Air Force. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Association reaches out at RAAF reunion". The Examiner. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Veterans' Review Board". Australian Government Boards. Department of Finance. Retrieved 4 December 2016.