Retracing an aviation heritage trail

One of two 100 Squadron Tiger Moths has returned home to RAAF Base Point Cook after spending the past year undergoing significant refurbishment – retracing its own 80-year history through Victoria and NSW in the process.

CAPTION100 Squadron’s Corporal Adam Scerri, front seat, and Flight Lieutenant Brett Alderton depart RAAF Base Point Cook on 27 June 2022 in a Tiger Moth. Story by Squadron Leader Kate Davis. Photo by Tim O’Connor.

The De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth (A17-692) saw operational service in the Air Force from 1943 to 1953, with 5 Elementary Flying Training School, 10 Elementary Flying Training School (10EFTS), Central Flying School and 1 Flying Training School, before transferring to the Navy for four years until retirement.

As part of the journey from RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria to Luskintyre, NSW, and return for the refurbishment, the aircraft transited through Mangalore, Wangaratta, Narrandera, Condobolin, Narromine, Mudgee, Parkes and Tocumwal; landing at its home of 79 years ago, Temora, on June 19 this year – the same date it arrived there on allocation to 10EFTS in 1944.

Operations officer and pilot 100 Squadron Flight Lieutenant Brett Alderton piloted the aircraft for last year’s outbound journey with crew Pilot Officer Ed Bartlett-Bragg and Corporal Adam Scerri.

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CAPTION: Pilot Officer Edward Bartlett-Bragg (L) and No 100 Squadron Mission Essential Crew, Corporal Adam Scerri at the No 8 Elementary Flying Training School Tiger Moth Memorial, Nerrandera, NSW.  Photo by Adam Scerri.

Flight Lieutenant Alderton said taking the aircraft to Narrandera, where the Tiger Moth base, 8 Elementary Flying Training School, was established during WW2, was “momentous”.

“Narromine was also particularly special, where this aircraft actually entered Air Force service 80 years ago in 1943, and where we housed it during this trip in the last remaining WW2-era Bellman hanger on the airfield,” he said.

Flight Lieutenant Alderton said the crew and ground support for the flights were fantastic and helped make the trips almost seamless.

“The transits were incredibly well supported thanks to 100 Squadron staff and external organisations such as Aerodrome reporting officers in Mangalore, Narrandera and Mudgee, aero clubs at Condoblin and Parkes, the aviation museums at Narromine and Tocumwal, and Oz Choppers in Mudgee,” he said.

Commanding Officer 100 Squadron Wing Commander Jason Easthope was happy to see the Tiger Moth back among the fleet after a year away.

“The refurbishment was meticulous and will ensure A17-692 serves Air Force and 100 Squadron for generations,” he said.

“We look forward to showcasing another precious Air Force heritage asset to Defence members, their families and the Australian public.”

The Tiger Moth will join the rotation of 100 Squadron aircraft flown for interactive flying displays at the RAAF Museum, Point Cook on Thursdays and Sundays, among other activities.

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CAPTION: 100 Squadron licenced aircraft maintenance engineers conduct final pre-flight checks on the Tiger Moth prior to departure from Luskintyre, NSW in 2022. Photo by Flight Lieutenant Brett Alderton.


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