First medical evacuation direct to Australia from Vietnam

27 Feb 1967

A new E-model Hercules transport from No 37 Squadron took off from Vung Tau, South Vietnam, to carry out the first medical evacuation flight direct to Australia. For this first flight, the crew, led by Squadron Leader R.E. Bateson, carried 51 cases over the 7165-kilometre distance from Vung Tau to Richmond, non-stop, in 14 hours and ten minutes. Previously the A-model Hercules performed this work as part of normal courier flights, usually routed through the RAAF Base at Butterworth, Malaysia, where patients were stabilised at No 4 RAAF Hospital before onward movement.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Richmond

Related aircraft

  • Hercules