RAAF Patch Sqn Royal Australian Air Force 3 Squadron Mirage IIIO
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RAAF Patch Sqn Royal Australian Air Force 3 Squadron Mirage IIIO

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  • Item #: 1P 51AS 1AAF 01SQN 2OP 0003SQ 05
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RAAF Patch 3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force Mirage IIIO Patch 1960s RAAF Base Butterworth Velcro Embroidered on wool cut edge 107mm four and three sixteenth inches.

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Squadron History

3 Squadron reformed on 1 March 1956 at RAAF Base Williamtown New South Wales equipped with Sabre aircraft. The Squadron relocated to RAAF Butterworth Air Base Malaya in 1958 engaging in combat operations during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Konfrontasi. 3 Squadron disbanded in 1967.

3 Squadron was reformed in September 1967 at RAAF Base Williamtown equipped with Mirage IIIO fighters tasked with fighter ground attack and air to air combat as Australian involvement in the Vietnam War intensified. A photo reconnaissance capability was developed using the Fairchild KA56 panoramic camera and a transportable high speed photo-processing and interpretation cabin. The role of the squadron included being able to deploy at eight days notice to a bare base and operate there unsupported for 28 days. The Mirage III was maintenance intensive and tasks such as engine overhauls and radar and instrument repair had to be performed while deployed. As a result there were about 190 engineering personnel in the Squadron and six C 130 aircraft were needed to move the squadron. The Squadron deployed to RAAF Butterworth in February 1969 and the aircraft became known as lizards due to their camouflage paint scheme and low altitude operations with the frill neck lizard adopted as an informal squadron insignia.

3 Squadron maintained a detachment at RAF Tengah Singapore with 75 Squadron RAAF and both Squadrons were temporarily based at RAF Tengah for several months while the runway at RAAF Butterworth was being resurfaced.

The Squadron returned to RAAF Base Williamtown Australia in 1986 and reequipped with FA 18 Hornets on 29 August 1986. In February 2002 elements of 3 Squadron deployed to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to relieve 77 Squadron providing air defence for the Coalition base there for operations over Afghanistan and 3 Squadron personnel participated in Operation Falconer 75 Squadrons deployment to the Iraq War during 2003. 

This patch dates from the 1960s.

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