AIRFORCE| ARMY| NAVY | MARINES | RAAF |ROK|AIRCRAFT|FWMAF| BASES|DUSTOFF| FACS | GUNSHIPS| SHIPS | MIG KILLS | WARSTORIES | UPDATES | WALL of HONOR | WEBRINGS |THE BOOK STORE | ASSOCIATIONS | REUNIONS | PATCHES | SENDING MATERIAL | SITE AWARDS |LINKS | IPMS-ALASKA | HOME
All photographic, textual and intellectual content are the property of AirWarVietnam.Com or the contributors
Air WarVietnam.Com © 2002,2003,2004 All Rights Reserved
RAAF squadron derived originally from 101 (Fleet Co-operation) Flight which was
embarked for part of its time on HMAS Albatross, thus explaining the Albatross
head and Naval Crown in the badge. In
1939 it became 9 Squadron with aircraft aboard RAN cruisers.
The unit disbanded in late 1944 after the cruisers had their aircraft and
Reformed in June 1962, the squadron was to be a search and rescue unit equipped
Reformed in June 1962, the squadron was to be a search and rescue unit equipped with
this role the unit deployed to Vung Tau, becoming operational with eight helos
immediately after arrival, 9 Squadron helos were working closely with the
Australian Special Air Service who maintained long range patrols.
Time and again SAS patrols were
plucked out of dangerous situations where their members were still closely
pursued by aggressive enemy forces.
with SAS co-operation, 9 Squadron became involved in casevac (dustoff) soon
after arriving in
first operational loss occurred on 18 October when a Huey collided with trees
and caught fire while landing in an extremely small landing zone on Nui Thi Vai.
As the Australian military commitment to Vietnam grew, so did 9 Squadron,
by late 1967 having an establishment of 16 helicopters and these quickly became
the later and more capable UH-1D and –1H models.
By doubling the aircraft numbers and utilizing the UH-1H (sixteen of
which were delivered direct to 9 Squadron in
example of the extreme situations crew found themselves in was on
aircraft was lured into an ambush in March 1971 by a decoy smoke marker and a
crewman was killed.
April 1971 a SVN government patrol with Australian advisers was caught in a
minefield and a 9 Squadron helo which was brought in to winch out the wounded
came under sustained machine gun fire. The
engine stopped and A2-767 crashed and burst into flames, killing the advisers
and the wounded Vietnamese being rescued. An
Australian medical orderly aboard was trapped in the wreck and burned to death,
but the remainder of the crew, wounded, burned, injured and shocked escaped to
be rescued at dusk by another 9 Squadron helicopter.
provide fire support to Australian ground forces, the unit’s ground staff
converted a B model into a gun-ship, official approval coming later, with two
seven-rocket FFAR pods and four M60 machine guns all mounted to fire forward, in
addition to twin-mounted M60s at the side doors.
This gunship was dubbed “Ned Kelly” and proved the concept.
“Bushranger” UH-1H gunships were officially converted with a pair of
GAU-2B/A mini-guns (M134) and nineteen-tube rocket pods; these latter items were
designed to be disposable ordnance and found unsuitable for repeated re-use, so
the smaller M158 tube was re-introduced. While
government & RAAF management back in Australia wrestled with the problem of
finance and how and where to obtain the necessary XM-21 kits (as used on the US
UH-1C), 9 Squadron took the matter into their own hands, obtaining three such
for the conversion by bartering beer and slouch hats with their US Army
counterparts. Initially the
mini-guns were mounted on the rear pylons, but this proved to have
insurmountable problems so they were moved to the forward pylons, a set-up
unique to the Australian aircraft.
first aircraft to be converted was A2-773 [see photographs], operational in
December 1968, though for various reasons a light fire team (LFT) of a pair of
RAAF gunships was not used operationally until April 1969.
Immediately LFTs and HFTs were in constant use and under fire, A2-772
being forced to land after small arms fire damage drained the transmission oil.
June 1970, A2-382 was forced to ditch after small arms fire damage and the
aircraft was written off. Its
replacement was A2-110 [see photo]. This
aircraft was subsequently involved in an unusual “un-airworthy” incident
when it was discovered that a 1.6-metre-long snake had taken up residence,
requiring considerable dismantling of the aircraft before the reptile could be
removed. In March 1971 the co-pilot
of A2-383 was killed by one of some twenty hits the aircraft suffered in an
action north of Xuyen Moc.
Squadron’s last missions were flown on
five and a half years in
Note: Article by Bob Livingstone (Australia Vietnam Veteran)
21 August 1969 - Update from Crewmember
I would like to set the record straight re #9SQN RAAF
Vietnam. In the 'history' part, the aircraft described on the 21st Aug 69, was
holed some 19 times. The Door Gunner, John Kerins was medevaced back to
Australia following his wounds. The pilot was Pilot Officer R.B.Treloar,
Co-Pilot was Flight Lieutenant Ian(Jim) Satrapa, Crewman was LAC Tony
Reynolds-Huntley, the door Gunner LAC John Kerins. The aircraft Tail# was
A2-381.(subsequently destroyed in a crash)
Always looking for Material
and Scans of "Anything" related to Flying Units to add to this site.
Questions or Comments?