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February 2, 2012
NUMBER 30SQN is well on track
to celebrate its 70th anniversary
on March 9.
WWII Beaufighter veterans
from Victoria and the NSW
branch of the 30SQN associa-
tion are expected to attend the
celebrations, which will take
place shortly after a small con-
tingent of 30SQN personnel
travel to Richmond to take part
in the association's Battle of the
Bismarck Sea commemoration.
The battle occurred between
March 2 and 4, 1943, in response
to a plan by the Japanese com-
mand in Rabaul to move 6900
troops in eight transport ships
to Lae under the escort of eight
destroyers and 100 aircraft.
30SQN CO WGCDR Sharyn
Bolitho said squadron personnel
were involved in the commemora-
tion for the first time last year,
and 30SQN would like that to
become a tradition.
"This is a fitting recognition
of the fighting spirit and sacri-
fices made by the Beaufighter
squadron during one of its most
memorable battles," WGCDR
"The squadron is committed
to preserving its history and herit-
age, and we are slowly building
up our knowledge base.
"We now have a full collection
of unit history from 1942 to 1968
but we would love to hear from
anyone that can assist us to know
more about 30SQN's past.
"The association is able to
provide us with a lot of informa-
tion about the WWII era, and we
have a number of past squadron
members now on our lists from
that period but we have no con-
tacts with personnel from the
target towing or the Bloodhound
Anyone who can assist with 30SQN
historical information or who is
interested in the 70th anniversary
should contact WGCDR Bolitho at
A MISSING link from 30SQN's
history was restored in Decem-
ber when the Defence Science
and Technology Organisation
(DSTO) gave the squadron a
Bloodhound surface-to-air mis-
The squadron operated the
Bloodhound between January
1961 and November 1968 as
part of the Sydney/Newcastle/
Wollongong Air Defence
System and, in 1965, also in
Darwin as part of the upgrade
of the country's northern
CO 30SQN WGCDR Sharyn Bolitho said after
30SQN re-formed at RAAF Base East Sale on July 1,
2010, its personnel had tried to capture as much of its
history as possible.
"We have forged great links with the NSW Branch
of the 30SQN Association [primarily focused on the
squadron's WWII days when it flew Beaufighters]
and have the original squadron's honour board, list-
ing the battle honours and COs dating from 1942,"
WGCDR Bolitho said. "However, we had no links to
the surface-to-air missile period and little information
on the period."
In its attempts to correct the discrepancy, the
squadron discovered that there were only five of the
British-designed SAMs still on display in Australia.
Four were at RAAF Bases Williamtown (the squad-
ron's home during the period) and Darwin, and the
RAAF Museum at Point Cook.
Air Force had presented the fifth missile to DSTO,
which in turn had displayed it at its Scottsdale facility
The squadron discovered that Scottsdale was
scheduled for some redevelopment works and also
that the missile was in some need of refurbishment.
"Our inquiries resulted in DSTO agreeing to gift
it back to us so that we could display it at East Sale,"
WGCDR Bolitho said.
30SQN asked the Director of Air Force Heritage
at Air Force Headquarters to have the acquisition
approved by the Management of Static Display
Aircraft Committee, as part of the program of Air
Force heritage activities.
As a result, a small 30SQN team travelled to
Tasmania in mid-December to collect the Bloodhound.
Noel Cleal and Anna Morris from the squadron's
Mechanical Equipment Operational Maintenance
Squadron (MEOMS) took a truck over by ship while
WGCDR Bolitho and WOFF Mike Krcevinac went
earlier to meet with DSTO's personnel.
WGCDR Bolitho said that some initial clean-up
work was being carried out to bring the SAM to dis-
play condition for 30SQN's 70th anniversary celebra-
tions on March 9. Full restoration will then be under-
taken with the assistance of the museum.
"Once fully restored, the Bristol Bloodhound Mark
1 missile will take pride and place in front of the
headquarters of No. 30 (City of Sale) Squadron at
RAAF Base East Sale," WGCDR Bolitho said.
The Bloodhound trail
30SQN prepares to
mark its 70th year
PLAY IT AGAIN,
right, with Jenni
Wilson, of DSTO
in flight. Photo
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