Once a magpie, always a magpie

In commemorating 80 years of operational service, No. 75 Squadron celebrated with a F-35A Lightning II display, Squadron Standards consecration parade and sunset dinner.

CAPTION: No. 75 Squadrons Colour Party prepare to receive the new Squadron’s Standard at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. Story by Flight Lieutenant Bronwyn Marchant. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.

The parade, held on June 24, was attended by current and ex-serving No. 75 Squadron members, including then Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld.

The fighter squadron, which defends Australia from the north, is located at RAAF Base Tindal near Katherine.

Commanding Officer of No. 75 Squadron Wing Commander Martin Parker said the day was a fitting tribute to the squadron’s extensive history.

“The Squadron was formed in Townsville, Queensland on March 4, 1942, crested with the Australian magpie and motto ‘Seek and Strike’,” Wing Commander Parker said.

“Operating the Kittyhawk aircraft, No. 75 Squadron deployed to New Guinea only a fortnight after its formation to fight in World War 2.”

CAPTION: F-35A Lightning II aircraft, A35-041, at the No. 75 Squadron’s 80th anniversary sunset dinner at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.

Wing Commander Parker said that over the next 80 years, No. 75 Squadron was awarded nine battle honours for distinguished conduct during war-time operations, and a Meritorious Unit Citation for outstanding service in the Middle East during Operation Falconer.

“It’s extremely humbling to be the commanding officer as we pay tribute to the achievements and sacrifices over the past 80 years, including to all those who have lost their lives during their service.”

Since the end of World War 2, No. 75 Squadron has flown an array of aircraft including the Mustang, Wirraway, Vampire, Meteor, Sabre and Mirage and operated from a variety of locations such as Williamtown, Malta, England, Germany, Malaysia and Darwin.

Finally making RAAF Base Tindal home, No. 75 Squadron was equipped with the F/A-18A/B Hornet from 1988 and was the last squadron to operate the iconic aircraft before it was retired in December 2021.

Air Marshal Hupfeld, who took Command of No. 75 Squadron from 2011 to 2013, congratulated all who played a part in the Squadron’s success.

“I’m extremely honoured to return to the Top End as the reviewing officer for a squadron with such a remarkable legacy,” Air Marshal Hupfeld said.

“As every proud aviator who has served at No. 75 Squadron will say – once a magpie, always a magpie.”Preview image for asset

CAPTION: 75 Squadron Sunset Dinner in celebration of its 80th anniversary and the Squadron’s new Standard held at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.





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