No. 5 Squadron RAAF

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No. 5 Squadron RAAF
Boomerang (AWM 0408).jpg
A Boomerang aircraft operated by No. 5 Squadron in 1944
Active 1 September 1917 – May 1919
20 April 1936 – 9 December 1989
Country Australia
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Role Fighter
Training
Naval co-operation
Army co-operation
Utility helicopter
Engagements World War I
World War II
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Beau Palmer (1945)[1]
Aircraft flown
Fighter Farman Shorthorn
Airco DH.6
Avro 504
Sopwith Pup
SE5a
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Snipe
CAC Wirraway
CAC Boomerang
P-40 Kittyhawk
Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois
AS350B Squirrel
Patrol Supermarine Seagull

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.

History[edit]

World War I[edit]

No. 5 Squadron was formed at Shawbury in England on 1 September 1917, as a unit of the Australian Flying Corps, under the command of Major Henry Petre. Initially known as "29 (Australian) (Training) Squadron" by the Royal Flying Corps, its Australian Flying Corps designation ("No. 5 (Training) Squadron, AFC") was officially recognised in early 1918.[2] Equipped with a variety of aircraft, including Maurice Farman Shorthorns, Airco DH.6, Avro 504s, Sopwith Pups, S.E.5as and Sopwith Camels, the squadron provided training to Australian pilots in Britain during World War I. After completing their training with No. 5 Squadron Australian pilots could be posted to one of the operational squadrons but the squadron's main role was to train pilots and observers for service in No. 1 Squadron in the Middle East. During the war, the squadron graduated on average of eight pilots per month, who were trained by combat experienced pilots transferred from the operational squadrons. No. 5 Squadron was disbanded in May 1919 at Minchinhampton.[3][4]

1930s[edit]

No. 5 Squadron was re-formed at RAAF Base Richmond on 20 April 1936 as a naval fleet co-operation squadron by expanding No. 101 (Fleet Co-Operation) Flight. Equipped with the Supermarine Seagull V amphibian aircraft, the squadron's detached flights operated from Royal Australian Navy cruisers and the seaplane tender HMAS Albatross. No. 5 Squadron was redesignated No. 9 Squadron on 1 January 1939.[4]

World War II[edit]

On 9 January 1941, No. 5 Squadron was re-formed at RAAF Base Laverton as an army co-operation squadron equipped with Wirraways. The squadron was relocated to Toowoomba in Queensland on 17 May 1942.[5] On 17 November 1942, the squadron was relocated to Toogoolawah for three months before redeploying to Kingaroy. The squadron was partially re-equipped with Boomerangs in late 1943 and was assigned to several different stations in Australia. On 11 November 1944,[5] No. 5 Squadron was deployed to Piva Airfield at Torokina on Bougainville under No. 84 (Army Co-operation) Wing, and operated with units of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, undertaking reconnaissance, artillery observation, ground attack, and aerial resupply missions in support of Australian ground troops fighting against the Japanese on the island.[5]

In September, shortly after the end of the war, the squadron began flying P-40 Kittyhawks. No. 5 Squadron was disbanded on 18 October 1946 at RAAF Base Pearce.[6][7] During the war, 24 members of the squadron were killed.[8]

Cold War[edit]

Bell Iroquois of No. 5 Squadron in 1971

No. 5 Squadron was re-formed in 1964 as a helicopter squadron equipped with Bell UH-1 Iroquois utility helicopters.[9] The squadron saw active service during the Malayan Emergency before returning to Australia where it supported Army units training for deployment to South Vietnam as part of Australia's commitment to the Vietnam War. In the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, the squadron contributed Iroquois to United Nations missions to Egypt, firstly to Ismailia with the United Nations Emergency Force and then later to the Sinai as part of the Multinational Force and Observers.[10][11]

These Iroquois were replaced by AS350B Squirrels in early 1984, which the squadron continued to use in the training role in addition to providing aid to the civil community in times of natural disaster. In December 1989, No. 5 Squadron was disbanded and absorbed into the Australian Defence Force Helicopter Training School.[10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ RAAF Historical Section 1995, p. 22.
  2. ^ "5 (Training) Squadron AFC". First World War, 1914–1918 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Eather 1995, p. 14.
  4. ^ a b Barnes 2000, p. 33.
  5. ^ a b c RAAF Historical Section 1995, pp. 15–22.
  6. ^ Eather 1995, p. 30.
  7. ^ Barnes 2000, pp. 33–36.
  8. ^ "5 Squadron RAAF". Second World War, 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Barnes 2000, p. 37.
  10. ^ a b Eather 1995, p. 31.
  11. ^ a b Barnes 2000, pp. 37–42.
Bibliography

Further reading[edit]

  • Brown, Ernest John (2000). The History of 5 RAAF Squadron: Boomerang and Wirraway Fighters in the Bougainville Campaign. Winmalee, New South Wales: Blackletter Editorial Services. 

External links[edit]