Home' Air Force News : October 15th 2009 Contents 10 News
AIR FORCE October 15, 2009
By FLTLT Jaimie Abbott
WET and wild weather failed
to spoil the show at the 70th an-
niversary celebrations of 10 and
11SQNs at RAAF Base Edin-
The celebrations took place
from September 24-26.
A last minute rain shower
meant hundreds had to move into
the hangar for a special parade to
reflect on 70 years of service to
Australia in which members of
these squadrons have served and
lost their lives.
Anyone who served with 10
or 11SQN was invited to attend
the three-day event and over 100
war veterans, including those who
served in WWII, took up the invi-
tation. 10SQN was the only RAAF
squadron to see continuous active
service throughout that war.
CO 10SQN WGCDR Kevin
Murray said current and former
personnel should be proud of what
they have achieved.
"10SQN has come a long
way since the then-known No 10
General Reconnaissance Squadron
was formed at RAAF Base Point
Cook on July 1, 1939," WGCDR
11SQN was formed on
September 21, 1939. Since then,
both squadrons have been involved
in important operations includ-
ing the Battle of the Coral Sea
(WWII), the Gulf War, Malayan
Emergency and East Timor.
They have contributed to coali-
tion operations in the Middle East
in Iraq and Afghanistan with mari-
time surveillance tasks and over-
While both squadrons now
10 and 11SQN's 70 years of
service to the nation
operate the AP-3C, they have used
a variety of aircraft to contribute to
Australia's national security.
They were the Lincoln,
Sunderland, Catalina and Neptune
prior to their making the switch to
the P-3 and then the AP-3C Orion.
Some of those aircraft made
a guest appearance during the
celebrations -- the Catalina
and Neptune along with a
former Aircraft Research and
Development Unit Dakota aircraft
were flown to Edinburgh by the
Historical Aircraft Restoration
In a world first, the Dakota and
Catalina flew in formation with
two AP-3Cs over Adelaide.
CO 11SQN WGCDR Phillip
Champion said the Catalina was a
drawcard for his squadron.
"11SQN saw active service
throughout the Pacific Campaign
of WWII with the Catalina Flying
Boats," he said.
"The Catalinas were nick-
named the 'Black Cats' in recogni-
tion of the many covert missions
conducted behind enemy lines at
night either bombing, mining or
rescuing downed allied airmen."
11SQN has also been involved
in many rescues, saving lives in
situations ranging from local boat-
ing accidents to major national
and international emergencies.
They include the Great Southern
Ocean recovery of yachtsman
An anniversary dinner at the
Adelaide Convention Centre pro-
vided the opportunity for genera-
tions of squadron members to re-
11SQN clerk CPL Emma Kay
said she enjoyed listening to some
of the stories from former mem-
"There is so much history in
both squadrons and it makes me
proud to be a part of it all," CPL
During the anniversary cele-
brations, both squadrons unveiled
alternative nose and tail arts on
two AP-3Cs. 92WG Executive
Warrant Officer WOFF Rob Eley
said both held WWII significance.
"10SQN revealed 'The Flying
Porcupines' [after the Sunderlands]
and 11SQN became the 'Black
Cats and Beyond' in reference to
the Catalinas," WOFF Eley said.
ON PARADE: 11SQN's CPL
Hong Le stands at ease during
the 10 and 11SQNs' anniversary
parade. Photo: LAC Glen McCarthy
PROUD ECHOES: The HARS Dakota and 'Black Cat' Catalina
join 10SQN (foreground) and 11SQN AP-3Cs in a formation
salute over Adelaide and Edinburgh. Photo: LAC Leigh Cameron
OLD AND NEW: Right, 11SQN's youngest member, AC Byron
Cameron-Collins, and Catalina Club SA president Art Coppock
cut the squadron cake.
Photo: LAC Vasilis Solomou
BORN TO FLY: OC 92WG GPCAPT Warren McDonald prepares for a mission in the AP-3C flight
simulator with former 461SQN pilot FLTLT Dudley Marrows, DSO, DFC, the most decorated Sunderland
pilot of WWII.
Photo: LAC Glen McCarthy
FLTLT Dudley Marrows was born in
Bendigo, Victoria, on December 8,
1917 and enlisted in the RAAF on
October 12, 1940. He was assigned
to Sunderland flying boats
(nicknamed "Flying Porcupines"
by the Germans because of their
armament) as a pilot/aircraft
captain and in 1943 was serving
with 461SQN, RAAF.
On September 16, 1943, he fought
off repeated attacks by six Ju-88
fighters but was forced to ditch
into the Bay of Biscay. Earlier, on
July 30, by a coincidence, while
flying 461SQN's Sunderland U461,
he sank the German submarine
An extraordinary coincidence remembered
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