Description: Squadron Patch – No.9 Squadron, RAAF (Unofficial – Vietnam War)
Condition: Very Good
Comments: Squadron Patch – No.9 Squadron, RAAF (Unofficial – Vietnam War) – a scarce and original Vietnam War period unofficial flight suit patch.
No. 9 Squadron was a unit of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Squadron saw active service in World War II and the Vietnam War before being disbanded in 1989.
No. 9 Squadron was re-formed at RAAF Base Williamtown on 11 June 1962 equipped with UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. While originally formed to provide the RAAF with a search and rescue capability, the Squadron’s main role rapidly became providing airlift to the Australian Army.
The squadron deployed to South Vietnam in mid-1966 and, as part of the 1st Australian Task Force, and began flying operations on 11 June 1966. The Squadron provided the Task Force with part of its helicopter support (most of which was provided by the US Army) Problems soon arose between 9 Squadron and army commanders. The most potentially detrimental development was the insistence that ‘Air Board regulations, framed for peacetime, should apply’. Strictures, included 9 Squadron Iroquois helicopters not operating ‘into insecure locations’ or undertaking roles that were ‘offensive’. This exhibited a lack of awareness by the RAAF of the requirements of the ground force in South Vietnam and, by inference, restricted the Army to secure locations where the enemy were unlikely to be, if they wished to be supported by 9 Squadron. The unworkable nature of such operational constraints in war caused Major General Mackay, at one stage, to ground 9 Squadron.
As part of the general Australian withdrawal No. 9 Squadron departed from South Vietnam on 8 December 1971. Upon its return to Australia, No. 9 Squadron was based at RAAF Base Amberley where it continued to provide airlift to the Australian Army and search and rescue for the civilian community.