The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Dr Mike Kelly, attended the Gala Dinner for the Royal Australian Air Force’s Number 34 Squadron on the occasion of their 70th Anniversary, held on Saturday evening at Parliament House, and congratulated them on their anniversary.
“Number 34 Squadron was established four days after the Bombing of Darwin in 1942, beginning with just two officers, four airmen and two De Havilland DH-84A Dragon aircraft.
“Since those humble beginnings, 34 Squadron has gone from strength to strength, and now provides between 1200 and 1800 special purpose flights each year for official travel for the Governor General, Australian Government, and visiting international heads of state and dignitaries.
“In the past year alone, 34 Squadron have provided transport for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Tour of Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark, with Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, the Royal Tour by His Royal Highness Prince William Duke of Cambridge, and critical support for the visit of President of the United States Barack Obama.
“I congratulate 34 Squadron on this tremendous milestone and am honoured to be able to join the RAAF Associations’ commemorations this weekend,” Dr Kelly said.
Number 34 Squadron also made history in 1944 as the first operational Squadron, to have members of the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force amongst their members.
Number 34 Squadron were engaged in the evacuation of ex-Prisoners of War from camps in Sumatra, Java and Thailand for return to Australia. The Squadron was disbanded on 6 June 1946, but re-created as Number 34 (VIP) Flight in 1956, and later renamed Number 34 Squadron in 1963.
Today, Number 34 Squadron provides an air transport capability to the Australian Government, Governor General and visiting international heads of state and dignitaries.
Elyse Gatt (Dr Kelly) 02 6277 4840 or 0459 810 654
Department 02 6127 1999