Air Force pays respects to Torres Strait Island community

Australian Defence Force personnel, veterans and their families attend a memorial service for the 34th Australian Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, marking the return of the 3.7 inch gun to its original emplacement on Horn Island.
Senior members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have visited Horn and Thursday Islands in Far North Queensland, attending a ceremony honouring those who served on the islands during World War II.
 
Led by Officer Commanding 84 Wing, Group Captain Nicholas Hogan, the Air Force contingent joined Horn Island Mayor, Mrs Vhonda Malone, the local Torres Strait Islander Community, and veterans at King Point to pay their respects.
 
Group Captain Hogan said the Islands were utilised as forward operating bases by the RAAF during World War II, providing anti-aircraft coverage and a stationing point for No 32 Squadron until 1942. 
 
“Horn Island was the second most attacked location after Darwin, and accommodated approximately 5000 troops over the course of the war,” Group Captain Hogan said.
 
“Still today, crews from No 35 Squadron regularly use C-27J Spartans at the airfield.”
 
Commanding Officer 35 Squadron, Wing Commander Benjamin Poxon said Air Force’s relationship with the local community was invaluable and the local traditions were recognised and respected.
 
“Defence is committed to maintaining connections with Indigenous communities, and meeting people firsthand,” Wing Commander Poxon said.
 
“We are proud of the contribution made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women to the defence of Australia in times of peace and war.”