Photoshoot for RAAF 77 Squadron

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) showed some superb photos of 77 Squadron Swift to Destroy formation flying activities with their F/A-18A Hornets off the coast of Newcastle (NSW).

The photoshoot happened on 29 October 2020 and Air Force Imagery Specialists from 28 Squadron took the opportunity to capture some final aerial imagery of the aircraft.

The tailmarkings on the "green" F/A-18A Hornet, serial A21-39, show "1987-2020 33 years Hornet". The squadron will decommission their Hornets in 2021. The unit, based at RAAF Base Williamtown will be the next in line to transfer to the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.

A nice feature on the Australian Ligtning IIs is that the aircraft are adorned, although in grey, with squadron markings.

No. 77 Squadron is headquartered at RAAF Base Williamtown (NSW) and is controlled by No. 81 Wing. The squadron was formed at RAAF Station Pearce, Western Australia, in March 1942. The squadron saw action in the South West Pacific theatre of World War II, operating Curtis P-40 Kittyhawks.

After the war, it re-equipped with North American P-51 Mustangs and deployed to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. The squadron was about to return to Australia when the Korean War broke out in June 1950, after which it joined United Nations forces supporting South Korea. It converted from Mustangs to Gloster Meteor jets between April and July 1951 and remained in Korea until October 1954.

The squadron re-equipped with CAC Sabres at Williamtown in November 1956. Two years later it transferred to RAAF Butterworth in Malaya to join the air campaign against communist guerrillas in the last stages of the Emergency. The squadron remained at Butterworth during the 1960s, providing regional air defence during the Konfrontasi between Indonesia and Malaysia. It returned to Williamtown in early 1969 to re-equip with Dassault Mirage III supersonic jet fighters. No. 77 Squadron began converting to Hornets in June 1987.


Photos: Sgt David Gibbs and Cpl David Said, both Royal Australian Air Force

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