NO.101 FLEET CO-OPERATION FLIGHT / NO 9 SQUADRON HISTORY
1925 to 1944 - NAVAL INVOLVEMENT
No. 101 Fleet Co-operation Flight was formed in July 1925 to operate Seagull Mark 3 amphibian aircraft for naval support roles. Initially land-based for a Great Barrier Reef survey, the unit later embarked on the RAN seaplane tender HMAS Albatross.
No. 9 Fleet Co-operation Squadron was formed in January 1939 operating mainly Seagull Mark 5 and some Walrus aircraft from numerous RN, RAN and RNZN warships. Squadron elements were involved in many historic naval battles during WW2 losing aircraft and personnel in actions including the sinkings of HMAS Sydney, Perth and Canberra. The Squadron was disbanded in 1944 after naval air strategy changed.
1962 to 1971 - SQUADRON REFORMATION & VIETNAM
No. 9 Squadron was reformed in June 1962 and equipped with Iroquois UH-1B helicopters for RAAF search and rescue requirements. Army support soon became the primary role and the Squadron deployed to Vietnam with 8 aircraft in June 1966 to provide tactical air transport support for 1 Australian Task Force.
Early in 1968, the Squadron re-equipped with 16 Iroquois UH-1H helicopters and developed comprehensive battlefield support roles – including an integral Gunship capability – supporting Australia/NZ, Vietnamese and US forces. Aircraft losses and personnel casualties were low over 5.5 years of Vietnam War involvement reflecting very effective conduct of battlefield support operations. The squadron redeployed to Australia in December 1971.
PERFORMANCE STATISTICS - NO. 9 SQUADRON, RAAF
VIETNAM THEATRE - JUN 1966 TO DEC 1971
[5.5 Years (2,000 Days) Including 2.5 Years (900 Days) of Gunship Operations]
Deployment Strength: 8 x Bell UH-1B Iroquois Helicopters and about 90 personnel
Mature Unit Strength: 16 x Bell UH-1H Iroquois Helicopters and about 170 personnel
Hours Flown: 58,768
Freight: 12,207 tonnes
Casevacs/Medevacs: 4,357 personnel
7.62mm – 15,512,361 rounds
2.75 inch Rockets – 29,285 rounds
250 Major Servicings & approximately 1,800 Intermediate Servicings
Averaged 13 of 16 aircraft on line daily; about 83 percent
7 lost due multiple causes and 23 suffered battle damage
Killed 6, Wounded 8, Injured (under review)
HONOURS & AWARDS, NO. 9 SQUADRON RAAF
VIETNAM WAR – 1966 to 1971
(The Australian Order of Precedence of Awards)_____
4 x DSO (Companion of the Distinguished Service Order)
2 x MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire)
32 x DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross)
RAN 1, RAAF 26, RNZAF 5
1 x CGM (Conspicuous Gallantry Medal)
1 x GM (George Medal)
9 x DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal)
1 x BEM(G) (British Empire Medal for Gallantry)
2 x BEM (British Empire Medal)
38 x MID (Mentioned-in-Dispatches)
RAN 2, RAAF 34, RNZAF 2
1972 to 1989 - POST-VIETNAM TO DISBANDMENT
Post-Vietnam, No. 9 Squadron supported extensive Army Survey Corps operations throughout the northern archipelago from Sumatra to New Britain and refined helicopter operating concepts for hostile air environments, night operations and support of fast-moving Army elements. Operations also embraced assistance to civil authorities of Australia and other nations.
From 1976 to 1986, personnel and aircraft were provided for United Nations and other multi-national peacekeeping operations in the Middle East. The Squadron began re-equipping with Blackhawk helicopters in 1988 preceding transfer of aircraft assets to Australian Army Aviation and disbandment of the Squadron in February 1989.