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February 28, 2013
THREE of the Air Force's oldest serv-
ing wings celebrated their 70th anni-
versaries in traditional style at RAAF
Base Williamtown on February 8.
During World War II, 41, 42
and 44WGs were formed between
December 1942 and February 1943 as
NSW Governor Professor Marie
Bashir was the reviewing officer for
a combined base parade to mark the
historic occasion, attended by CAF
AIRMSHL Geoff Brown and hun-
dreds of current and former serving
Despite the scorching heat, the
parade was run with flawless preci-
sion -- the result of a short but intense
rehearsal program led by 26SQN
Warrant Officer Disciplinary Dave
Host Officer and Commander
Surveillance and Response Group,
AIRCDRE Stephen Osborne, said it
was a special day.
"There is a great deal of history
41, 42 and 44WGs celebrate anniversary
associated with all three wings and I
felt very privileged to be a part of the
event," he said.
41WG was formed in New
Guinea on February 26, 1943, and
was involved in a number of major
battles including Milne Bay and Port
42WG was formed on February 1,
1943, at Townsville and 44WG was
formed on December 14, 1942, at
OC 41WG GPCAPT Richard
Pizzuto said the combined 70th anni-
versaries provided a unique opportu-
nity to celebrate the wings' rich his-
"These decorated wings have
served in a variety of roles since their
original formation and they continue
to serve today with great professional-
ism and a sense of pride," GPCAPT
"All three wings remain affiliated
with radar. 41WG operates ground-
based radars, including the Jindalee
over-the-horizon radar system, 42WG
operates the new E-7A Wedgetail
aircraft, and 44WG is home to the
Air Force's Joint Battlefield Airspace
"The wings are the oldest serving
RAAF wings in existence, but they
operate some of the newest capabili-
ties in the Air Force today."
Following the parade, a fam-
ily open day featured static displays
from all three wings including an
E-7A Wedgetail aircraft, Tactical
Air Defence Radar System and the
Tactical Air Operations Tower.
41WG logistics officer FLTLT
James Grigson said it was rewarding
to see it all come together on the day.
"We put a lot of work into this
event over the last few months, and I
was proud to be a part of this signifi-
cant event, which was appreciated by
the current and former wing personnel
and families," he said.
A dining-in night was held at the
Williamtown Officers' Mess that
GPCAPT Pizzuto said the com-
bined parade, family day and dining-
in was a great way to celebrate the
wings' long and illustrious histories.
"It also provided an opportunity
for Air Force to display its rich herit-
age and build esprit de corps between
the generations," he said.
With two Wedgetails as the
backdrop, the Squadrons'
Standards are marched past
during the 70th anniversary
parade for 41, 42 and 44WGs
at RAAF Base Williamtown.
Photo: LAC Mark Friend
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