It has been 80 years since Air Force’s No. 30 Squadron was established at RAAF Base Richmond before deploying to the Pacific Theatre flying Beaufighter aircraft during World War II.
CAPTION: Squadron Leader Michael Veitch and President of the No. 30 Squadron RAAF Beaufighter Association Bruce Robertson at the No. 30 Squadron anniversary dinner. Story by By Flight Lieutenant Dee Irwin. Photo by Petty Officer Rick Prideaux.
The Commanding Officer of No. 30 Squadron, Wing Commander Neil Foate, welcomed past and present serving members, the families of No. 30 Squadron and members of the Beaufighter Association to RAAF Base East Sale to commemorate the anniversary.
“Marking this milestone is an important part of squadron history and it is an honour and privilege to not only lead No. 30 Squadron on this anniversary but also be part of a unit with such an incredible legacy,” Wing Commander Foate said.
The Beaufighter Association represents No. 30 Squadron veterans and their descendants from World War II and the squadron standard is inscribed with 11 battle honours the squadron received during that conflict.
The association president is Mr Bruce Robertson, who is 102 and the last surviving member of the squadron from World War II. Mr Robertson, who fought in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, was guest of honour at the commemoration and shared anecdotes from the battle.
He also unveiled a plaque, presented by the association to the squadron, listing the names of No. 30 Squadron members who died during the war.
“We pay tribute to and honour the memory of aviators who did not return from the battle,” Mr Robertson said.
“It is important to remember the courage, bravery, service and sacrifice of those who have come before us.”
The plaque will be placed in the RAAF Base East Sale Memorial Garden and a replica plaque will be displayed at RAAF Base Richmond.
No. 30 Squadron is located at RAAF Base East Sale and is responsible for coordinating and delivering airbase operations in support of Australian Defence Force activities.