RAAF Patch Sqn Royal Australian Air Force b 38 Squadron DC 4 C47
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RAAF Patch Sqn Royal Australian Air Force b 38 Squadron DC 4 C47

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  • Item #: 1P 51AS 1AAF 01SQN 2OP 0038SQ 02
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RAAF Patch 38 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force Ops Patch 1980s DC 4 Caribou Dakota C 47 RAAF Base Richmond Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 76mm three inches diameter.

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38 Squadron relocated to RAAF Station Schofields on 15 August 1946 with the other Dakota Squadrons 36 and 37 and their aircraft servicing unit 486 Maintenance Squadron as part of 86 Wing.  On 22 January 1947 38 Squadron commenced thrice weekly courier flights to Japan to support the Australian element of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force as its primary role and were the longest regular air route serviced by twin engine aircraft at the time taking several days to complete. The Squadrons courier flights continued until 13 January 1948 when chartered Qantas aircraft began to be used to support the force in Japan.  

The Squadron deployed five aircrew to Europe In August 1948 as part of 86 Wings contribution to the RAAF Squadron Berlin Air Lift to support the international efforts to fly supplies into Berlin during the Soviet blockade of the city. The 86 Wing deployment disrupted its operations and 36 and 38 Squadron operated as a single unit for a period with all flying hours booked to 38 Squadron before personnel returned in August 1949. The Squadron relocated to RAAF Richmond with the rest of 86 Wing at the end of June 1949. 

The Squadron relocated to RAF Changi Singapore on 19 June 1950 as part of the Australian force assigned to the Commonwealth Far East Air Force tasked with courier flights across Asia and providing support for the British led counterinsurgency operations in Malaya under 90 Composite Wing along with Lincoln bomber equipped 1 Squadron. Following the outbreak of the Korean War the Squadron flew British troops and supplies from Singapore to Japan and Korea and four of the Squadrons eight Dakotas were transferred to 30 Communication Unit in Japan in November 1950. In its reduced strength the Squadron conducted supply aeromedical evacuation flights and occasionally used to mark targets ahead of bombing raids and to drop propaganda leaflets in support of the British led forces. The Squadron deployed to RAF Kuala Lumpur in April 1951 for supply drops to Commonwealth forces in the field returning to RAF Changi in July 1951 with a further deployment to RAF Kuala Lumpur in November 1951 that included a successful parachute insertion of 54 members of 22 Special Air Service Regiment into a remote area near the Malaya Thailand border in February 1952 just before returning to RAF Changi. 38 Squadron relocated to RAAF Richmond on 8 December 1952 tasked with routine transport duties and occasionally provided aircraft for CSIRO rainmaking experiments. The Squadron absorbed 36 Squadrons Dakotas on 8 March 1953 and moved to RAAF Station Canberra in March 1954 to provide VIP flights until September 1954. The Squadron was renamed Transport Training Squadron in November 1954 responsible for instructing new Dakota crews and RAAF air movements personnel. 

38 Squadron was reactivated on 13 June 1963 at RAAF Richmond on the renaming of Transport Training Squadron and sent a number of crews to Canada to begin converting to DHC 4 Caribou tactical transport aircraft in January 1964 with the first three Caribous flown by the first trained crews from Toronto to RAAF Richmond March April 1964 and continued to operate the Dakota. The Squadrons main role with the Caribous was aircrew training for operational service with the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam later redesignated 35 Squadron. The Squadron became an independent unit following the disbandment of 86 Wing in August 1964 and deployed Detachment A to Pert Moresby Papua New Guinea with two caribous to provide tropical and mountain flying experience prior to service with 35 Squadron in Vietnam. 

The Squadron deployed a single Caribou and support staff to Rawalpindi Pakistan as Detachment B in March 1975 to transport personnel and supplies for the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. The Squadron deployed a Caribou to East Timor between August and October 1975 to support Red Cross operations during the civil war. Detachment A at Port Morseby was disbanded on 17 January 1976 following independence of PNG and Detachment B returned from Pakistan in November 1978. The Squadron established detachments at RAAF Darwin and RAAF Pearce in the 1980s to provide search and rescue and to exercise with Army units.  

38 Squadron relocated to RAAF Base Amberley in October 1992 remaining responsible for all Caribou conversion training and for conducting tactical transport operations. The Squadrons detachment at RAAF Pearce disbanded in 1999 and deployed a new detachment to East Timor designated 86 Wing Detachment C to support the international peacekeeping force. The Squadron became RAAFs only Caribou unit when 35 Squadron disbanded and a new Detachment B was established at RAAF Townsville in 2000. 86 Wing Det C was disbanded in 2001. The Squadron deployed two aircraft to the Solomon Islands as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands peacekeeping force in July 2003 until July 2004. 38 Squadron relocated to RAAF Townsville in 2008 and replaced its Caribous with King Air 350 aircraft transferred from the Armys 173 Surveillance Squadron in 2009 with additional new airframes in 2010.  

This patch dates from the 1980s.

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