DH9s to Brisbane

In 1925 No 3 Squadron was officially formed within the then-tiny Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The squadron was on its fifth name but undertook the first operations branded under RAAF when two DH9s flew from RAAF Base Richmond to the Brisbane Show.

The squadron was flying a composite mix of fighter, light bomber and army cooperation aircraft that had been received as an Imperial Gift from Great Britain. At the end of World War I the Royal Ai Force (RAF) had an estimated 20,000 surplus aircraft. Sir Hugh Trenchard, Chief of the Air Staff, successfully lobbied the Imperial War Cabinet to gift surplus to dominions.

The donation of aircraft, in addition to replacements given for aircraft used in World War I, formed the core of new air forces in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and India.  This technology dated from World War I but was well-engineered, well-maintained and familiar to the ex-Australian Flying Corps airmen and ground crew who made up the new RAAF.

Aircraft  Qty  Engines Qty 
Avro 35 Puma 37
DH.9 28 130hp Clerget 44
DH9.A 30 180hp Hisp. Viper 1
S.E.5 35 200hp Hisp. Viper 41
Liberty  63
 Total 128 186


Click here to view the Official Air Force 2021 timepiece collection

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