Showcase of Air Force history

Leading Aircraftman Nathan Palmer, centre, and Aircraftwoman Alanna Hennessy both from No. 22 Squadron, assist BGIS employee Michael Gavin instal an Air Force 2021 banner. Photo: Corporal Dan Pinhorn

Showcase of Air Force history

A new Air Force centenary banner has been erected along the perimeter fence of RAAF Base Richmond.

Located opposite the Hawkesbury Visitor Information Centre in Clarendon, the banner showcases people and aircraft associated with the base throughout its history, including the Wapiti biplane, a C-47 Dakota, a DHC-4 Caribou and a C-130J Hercules. 

Senior ADF Officer for RAAF Base Richmond Air Commodore Carl Newman said the banner was displayed in a historic location for the base.

“Even before that time, the base was the site of a state government flying school during World War I. Australia’s first licenced aviator, William Hart, flew here in 1912.

“The centenary of Air Force is an opportunity for us to share the many stories we have locally, recognise our milestones, and build the community’s understanding of what we do.”

As part of recognising Air Force’s centenary, RAAF Base Richmond will release an online catalogue of local imagery, showcasing the development of the base and the Hawkesbury area.

Although COVID-19 has restricted the scale of public events, Air Commodore Newman said the base was engaging Hawkesbury City Council and community groups on local events.

“We’re planning on a number of visits and events in conjunction with local historical societies, artists, and the camera club,” Air Commodore Newman said.

“We’ll also provide representation at community events such as the Hawkesbury Show and local commemorative services, where COVID-19 restrictions will allow us to.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to conduct an Open Day or other large public event, but we are seeking opportunities throughout the year to share our story with the community.”

The RAAF was established at Point Cook near Melbourne on March 31, 1921. Before then it was the Australian Flying Corps within the Army. 

On July 1, 1925, RAAF Base Richmond was the second Air Force Base to be established and the first in Sydney.

“With RAAF Base Richmond being active for 96 out of 100 years of Air Force, we’ve played a role in many of our organisation’s milestones over the last century,” Air Commodore Newman said.

“RAAF Base Richmond was essential in building the workforce and experience that was used to effect in World War II, and since then we’ve continued to sustain operations abroad.

“Defence units at RAAF Base Richmond are also critical in delivering relief during natural disasters, whether it’s local bushfires, cyclones or flooding within Australia and across the wider Asia-Pacific.”

Air Force 2021 events for RAAF Base Richmond are being arranged by Base Liaison Officer Flight Lieutenant Eamon Hamilton, who can be contacted via raaf.2021 [at]

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