Lake Macquarie History

Goodbye at Rathmines

9 (Fleet Cooperation) Squadron was disbanded at RAAF Rathmines on 31 December 1944 in response to loss and technological change.

photo: goodbye at rathmines

The RAN fleet had sustained significant losses during WWII. By the end of 1943, half of Australia’s cruisers had been sunk. Improvements in carrier-borne aircraft, anti-aircraft defence and helicopter technology saw Supermarine amphibians fall out of use. All remaining RAN cruisers had their catapults removed by 1944. Vickers Supermarine ceased Walrus production in January 1944.

The last known use of a Walrus by the RAN was in July 1944. It was deployed to the mine sweeping and survey vessel HMAS Warrego for air sea rescue and reconnaissance duties in northern New Guinea waters. The RAAF continued to operate the aircraft for coastal patrols and air-sea rescue tasks until they were phased out of use during 1946.

The RAN founded Fleet Air Arm and acquired two light fleet carriers after WWII. Responsibility for naval aviation moved away from the RAAF.

9 Squadron reformed in 1962 and played an important role in Vietnam, participating in the Battle of Long Tan and flying Iroquois helicopters.

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

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