Home' City West News : May 5th 2010 Contents [ 20 ] CityWest
Number 33 Squadron's rich history
Unit historian and Aircraft Technician at
33 Squadron, Corporal Chris Greenall
said their early facilities in Townsville
were unusual, especially in comparison
to the Squadron's modern complex at
"When we formed at Stockroute
Air eld in 1942, the 33 Squadron
barracks was the Catholic convent on
The Strand at Townsville and 'B' Flight
aircraft were located at St John Zoo,
where a grass strip was used," CPL
"There are stories of an aircraft
damaged by a cow scratching itself on
Initially equipped with Empire Flying
Boats, between 1942 and 1946 the
Squadron operated ve other types of
aircraft including the Avro Anson, D.H.
Dragon, Tiger Moth, Vultee Vigilant and
the long serving C-47 Dakota.
SQNLDR Charles Raymond Gurney,
the Squadron's rst CO, was killed in
action during operations in Papua New
Guinea while ying as second pilot on
an American B-26 Marauder.
The Squadron operated out of
PNG until the end of the War before
The rst B707 was delivered in 1979
to 33 Flight, which was part of 37
Squadron at RAAF Base Richmond.
"The policy was that if you had less
that three aircraft, you couldn't be a
Squadron," CPL Greenall said.
With the arrival in 1983 of two more
B707s, 33 Strategic Transport Squadron
In 1988, 33 Squadron's eet increased
once more with the purchase of a
further three jets announced on the
eve of signing a contract for air-to-air
refuelling modi cations to the existing
In its refuelling role, the B707s catered
for the RAAF's eet of F/A-18s and
Hawks as well as a number of foreign
33 Squadron has undertaken a
number of complex international air-
to-air refuelling deployments as well
as the deployment Australian troop
and personnel in support of overseas
In June 2008 the last B707 was retired
from RAAF service. Consequently,
33SQN o cially stood up at RAAF Base
Amberley 01 Jul 2008 to prepare for
delivery of the new KC-30A Multi Role
Above: Corporal Chris Greenall, Unit historian
at Number 33 Squadron with picture of a D.H.
Amberley's Number 33 Squadron continues an important role within RAAF that
stretches back to its formation in Townsville during World War II.
Australian ags for
Federal Member for Blair, Shayne
Neumann presented two Australian
ags to the founder of Vet-Treks, Kevin
Moss for him to present to war veteran
living in Sheepyard, a remote mining
community west of Lightning Ridge.
"Members of our group, Vet-Treks
Australia, will be attending the 2010
ANZAC Day service at the Sheepyard
"This is part of what has become an
annual pilgrimage by our group to
support war veterans living in rural and
remote areas," Mr Moss said.
Vet-Treks Australia was founded to
provide outreach support and links
between urban and rural war veterans.
Mr Neumann said the annual trip to the
Sheepyard War Memorial by Vet-Treks
Australia is indicative of the excellent
work they do in helping to improve and
maintain the independence and quality
of life of incapacitated members of the
war veteran community.
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