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We are Frontline in your community
Our proud history of supporting Army and
Air Force communities continues....
For 95 years, we have been proud to support the
Army and the Air Force communities.
Frontline not only provides convenient and
competitive on base canteen services, but we are
also prepared to go that extra mile and support
soldiers, airmen and their families in need of
Whether it was grants to widows and children of
deceased war veterans post World War II;
payments of commission to base welfare funds
and trusts through our managed vending solution
or direct sponsorship of sporting and community
groups, we have always been proud to be of
assistance to the Army and Air Force
This tradition will continue during the week of
30th May - 4th June when we unite to assist those
Army and Air Force families who were badly
affected by the 2011 south east Queensland
Frontline Defence Services is the trading name of the Army and Air Force Canteen Service (AAFCANS). Frontline Defence Services is the Government Statutory
Authority responsible for providing on base canteen services. Australian Commercial Catering is a Joint Venture partner in the NSW, SA and VIC outlets.
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April 28, 2011
FLTLT Skye Smith
TO ENSURE that the efforts of the De-
sert Harassers would not be forgotten,
time capsules were installed at RAAF
Base Williamtown 70 years to the day
after 450SQN embarked on the largest
convoy to leave Australia during WWII.
450SQN veterans, widows and
Association patrons joined 3SQN mem-
bers on April 9 for a memorial service
to mark the significant occasion in
Australia's war and aviation history.
Sister squadrons 3SQN and 450SQN
shared great success as they fought
alongside each other in the North Africa
campaign during WWII.
CO 3SQN WGCDR Terry van
Haren said the two squadrons served
on operations providing vital defence to
Australia's national interests.
"The special friendships formed
between the two squadrons 70 years ago
remain ever strong today," he said.
"3SQN was honoured to share in this
auspicious occasion with 450SQN all
these years later."
As the time capsules were installed
during the service, a WWII Kittyhawk
fighter and two 3SQN F/A-18s flew
over the crowd in formation to symbol-
ise the special bonds shared between the
Former 450SQN members Jack
Curtis, Maurie Douglas and Allen
Buckman installed the capsules on
behalf of the squadron's aircrew and
They contained photos, documents
and memorabilia from those who served
with 450SQN during the war.
The squadron was formed at
Williamtown as one of the first Empire
Air Training Scheme squadrons on
February 16, 1941.
Two hundred and ninety men from
450SQN departed Williamtown for the
Middle East on April 9, 1941. Sixty-
three men did not return.
OC 81WG GPCAPT Joe Iervasi
paid respects to the men lost in battle.
"There are many stories of courage
and bravery, sorrows and camaraderie
that were forged on the battlefields, so
far from home," he said.
The men of 450SQN destroyed 49
aircraft in the air, damaged 27, and
destroyed a further 93 on the ground.
Five Distinguished Flying Crosses
and five Distinguished Flying Medals
were awarded for their gallant efforts.
"The dogged determination of
450SQN continues to inspire us today,"
GPCAPT Iervasi said.
"Its members were a group of ordi-
nary men who did an extraordinary
REMEMBERING: Above, 450SQN
veterans, family and friends pay their
respects during the 70th anniversary
memorial service at RAAF Base
STRONG FRIENDSHIPS: Right, CO 3SQN
WGCDR Terry van Haren addresses the
Photos: LACW Amy Trebilco
service for Australia. They show the
strength of what it means to be an
"We remember their deeds and cher-
ish them, because we are here today
because of the Harassers."
In June 1941, combined with
the pilots and Hawker Hurricanes
of 260SQN RAF, 450SQN fought
against the Vichy French in the Syrian
Campaign. The squadron was later
equipped with P40 Kittyhawk aircraft
in December 1941.
450SQN went on to achieve fur-
ther success assisting in the defeat of
Rommel's Axis forces in the Western
Desert at El Alamein and Tunisia in
North Africa, where they gained the
name Desert Harassers.
The squadron also fought in the
Sicilian campaign, where their efforts
assisted in saving Malta from total
destruction, and Italian campaigns
including Operation Bowler, which was
a dive-bombing attack over Venice in
1945. It was to be the squadron's last
major operation. 450SQN was finally
disbanded in Italy on August 20, 1945.
The 450SQN Association will
celebrate its 68th anniversary in
November, having been formed in Italy
in November 1943 by members of the
squadron who vowed to maintain their
friendship beyond the war.
' There are many
courage and brav-
ery, sorrows and
were forged on
the battlefields, so
far from home.
-- GPCAPT Joe Iervasi
FLASHBACK: 450SQN ground
crew at work on a Curtiss P40
Kittyhawk aircraft at Grottalgie
airfield in WWII.
Photo courtesy Australian War Memorial
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