9 squadron

Operational History and Background
Between the first and second world wars, a number of RAN officers were trained as pilots but that training ceased when the RAAF won that control of Australian naval aviation and the RAAF provided aircraft, maintainers and pilots, the RAN provided ships, observers and Telegraphist Air Gunners (TAG).

The main Australian naval aviation unit was No. 9 Squadron RAAF. It was originally a pre-war squadron which first formed on 1 July 1925 as 101 (Fleet Co-operation) Flight and flew off HMAS Albatross. In August 1936, it was renamed 5 (Fleet Co-Operation) Squadron and again in January 1939 was renamed to 9 (Fleet Co-operation) Squadron.

At the commencement of WW2 the squadron was resurrected, and equipped with Walruses and Seagull Vs which were embarked on Royal Australian Navy cruisers to
provide reconnaissance, anti-submarine and artillery spotting for the Australian Navy. No. 9 Squadron saw  service in all theatres of war on RAN ships. Its Commanding Officers were RAAF and its observers including Lieutenant Commanders and TAGs were RAN.

After the declaration of war in September, 1939 several Walruses and their crews - embarked with their Australian cruisers - found themselves in the Mediterranean where they continued serve until early 1942. With the entry of Japan into the War in December 1942, the Australian cruisers returned to the Pacific theatre where they could play a direct role in the defence of Australia.

During the War, No. 9 Squadron personnel were lost in a number of ships in which they were embarked. When HMAS Sydney was lost with all hands in an action on 19 November 1941, six squadron members were among those killed. Six RAAF personnel were on HMAS Perth when she was torpedoed on 1 March 1942 by Japanese forces.   Threee RAAF personnel were killed when the ship sunk in the Sundra Strait, and the remaining three were taken POW and one of which died in captivity.

In a night action off Guadalcanal on 8 August 1942, five Squadron personnel were killed and a further two wounded when HMAS Canberra was sunk on 9 August 1942.

The squadron was finally disbanded on 31 December 1944.

Battle Honours
All Theatres

Commanding Officers and Squadron Personnel

Commanding officers were RAAF. The highest ranking RAN personnel included:

  • Walrus
  • Seagull V
  • Ships and Squadron bases
  • HMAS Albatross
  • HMAS Sydney
  • HMAS Australia
  • HMAS Canberra
  • HMAS Perth
  • The Squadron Today
    Last disbandment in February 1989
    Associations and Reunions
    See Squadron website
    No 9 squadron RAAF Association website Details of history, aircraft, honour roll, association etc.
    HMAS Perth National association Detailed website about the ship and her crews
    Sturtivant, R & Ballance, T  (1994). 'The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm' Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994 ISBN: 0 85130 223 8  
    Australian squadron histories: 817 squadron
    Australian FAA 817 squadron website
            Last Modified: 23-2-2001


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