Description: Squadron Patch – No.77 Squadron, RAAF.
Condition: Very Good
Comments: Squadron Patch – No.77 Squadron, RAAF.
No. 77 Squadron is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron headquartered at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales. Controlled by No. 81 Wing, it is equipped with McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet multi-role fighters. The squadron was formed at RAAF Station Pearce, Western Australia, in March 1942 and 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, claiming five MiG-15s and over five thousand buildings and vehicles destroyed during the war for the loss of almost sixty aircraft, mainly to ground fire.
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. It supplied a detachment of four aircraft to the United States Air Force base on Diego Garcia in 2001–02, supporting the war in Afghanistan. Along with its Hornets, the squadron briefly operated Pilatus PC-9s in the forward air control role in the early 2000s. The RAAF plans to replace its Hornets with Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters commencing in 2018, and No. 77 Squadron is scheduled to convert to the new type in 2021.