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No 35 Squadron

After forming in March 1942, No 35 Squadron operated an assortment of aircraft in support of its courier and supply operations in Western Australia.

Based at Pearce from August 1943, the Squadron was re-equipped with Dakotas, and with these new aircraft, operations were extended to Eastern Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific region.

After Japan's surrender, No 35 Squadron supported the movement of three RAAF fighter Squadrons and various support Units to Japan before disbanding in June 1946.

On 1 June 1966, the RAAF Transport Flight in Vietnam was re-titled No 35 Squadron. Equipped with the rugged Caribou aircraft, No 35 Squadron flew from its home base at Vung Tau, operating cargo and passenger flights throughout South Vietnam. Paratrooping operations, in support of the South Vietnamese Army were also a feature of No 35 Squadron's operations as were occasional night flare dropping missions.

The Caribous regularly operated at very low level and came under constant small arms fire from the ground. These hazardous flying conditions resulted in the loss of several aircraft and injuries to both passengers and aircrew. Even in the relative safety of their bases the Caribous were regular targets for small arms and mortar fire, which saw one Caribou destroyed on the ground during a mortar attack.

The final elements of No 35 Squadron returned to Australia on 19 February 1972 - being the last RAAF unit to leave Vietnam.

Four years after arriving back in Australia, the Squadron moved to Townsville Queensland, where Iroquois helicopters joined the Unit's Caribous. With this mixed fleet of aircraft, No 35 Squadron undertook army tactical support tasks and civil aid operations, including search and rescue, medical evacuations and flood relief work.

No 35 Squadron continued its mixed rotary/fixed wing operations until December 1989, when the Iroquois were transferred to Army control. In 2000, Caribou operations were rationalised, and No 35 Squadron's operations were amalgamated into No 38 Squadron.

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