No. 25 Squadron RAAF

No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron is a general reserve squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It is based at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, and forms part of the Combat Reserve Wing. The squadron was formed in early 1937 and until early 1939 was designated as "No. 23 Squadron". During World War II, it provided local air defence for the Perth region, before undertaking Army co-operation duties in 1943–1944 and then converting to the heavy bomber role in 1945. In the heavy bomber role, the squadron took part in operations against Japanese targets in the Netherlands East Indies and supported Allied ground operations during the Borneo Campaign.

No. 25 Squadron RAAF
An RAAF Aermacchi MB-326, flown by No. 25 Squadron until 1998
1948 – present
BranchRoyal Australian Air Force
RoleAir Force Reserves
Part ofCombat Reserve Wing RAAF
Garrison/HQRAAF Base Pearce
EngagementsWorld War II
Raymond Brownell (1938–1940)[2]
Neville McNamara (1957–1959)[3]

Following the end of hostilities, No. 25 Squadron was disbanded in mid-1946 but was re-raised two years later as a Citizen Air Force unit based in Pearce. From 1948 the squadron's reservists flew jet fighters to provide air defence over Western Australia, but the squadron ceased flying duties in 1960 and switched to the ground support role. In 1989, flying operations resumed as No. 25 Squadron assumed responsibility for jet introduction training and fleet support; this role ceased in 1998 and since then the squadron has been tasked with providing a pool of trained personnel to the Air Force.


No. 25 Squadron was originally formed at RAAF Base Laverton in Victoria, on 3 May 1937 and was initially known as "No. 23 (City of Perth) Squadron". It was originally tasked with providing support for the Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy, as well as pilot training. The squadron moved to RAAF Station Pearce in Perth, Western Australia, in 1938.[4] The squadron's first commanding officer was Raymond Brownell.[5] It was renamed No. 25 Squadron on 1 January 1939. Following the declaration of World War II, the squadron was allocated Australian built Wirraways, operating these in convoy protection and anti-submarine roles off the Western Australia coast around Fremantle and Rottnest Island.[2] When Japan entered the war, the squadron also received some Brewster Buffaloes and with these two obsolete aircraft types, No. 25 Squadron was tasked with providing the air defence of Perth, amidst concerns of a possible Japanese invasion. The squadron was re-equipped with Vultee Vengeance dive bombers in August 1943, and once the threat of invasion passed, it began joint exercises with the Army.[4]

In January 1945, the squadron was re-equipped with B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and undertook its first operation two months later out of Cunderdin—refuelling in northern Western Australia at Corunna Downs and Truscott—to bomb targets in the Dutch East Indies. For the rest of the war, No. 25 Squadron was tasked with attacking Japanese shipping and base facilities in the Dutch East Indies. The squadron also assisted in the Allied landings at Brunei Bay in northern Borneo, having re-located to Tarakan in June 1945.[2] In the months following the end of the war, No. 25 Squadron aircraft evacuated liberated prisoners of war to Australia from Morotai and Borneo. The squadron was disbanded in July 1946.[4] Its wartime losses amounted to 25 personnel killed.[2]

No. 25 Squadron was reformed in April 1948 as a Citizen Air Force unit based out of Pearce. Between 1948 and 1960, the squadron trained reservist pilots and ground crew and operated Mustangs and de Haviland Vampires with Tiger Moths and Wirraway trainers.[5] After receiving the de Havilland Vampire jets the squadron also took over the responsibility for maintaining a fighter presence in Western Australia. In 1960, the squadron's flying role ceased and it began to concentrate on providing ground support for Permanent Air Force units. In 1989, the squadron resumed flying operations with the Italian built Macchi jet trainer, conducting jet introduction training and fleet support for the Royal Australian Navy. With the introduction of the Macchi in 1989 and with a Permanent Air Force component, No. 25 Squadron was the only reserve unit with operational aircraft.[6]

On 1 July 1998, the Permanent Air Force component separated from the reserve element and reformed as No. 79 Squadron, and the flying operations were reassigned to it. No. 25 Squadron returned to its role of providing a reserve pool of trained personnel to the Air Force.[5] The squadron forms part of the RAAF's Combat Reserve Wing.[7]

See also


  1. "Aircraft operated by No. 25 Squadron" (PDF). Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  2. "No. 25 Squadron RAAF". Second World War, 1939–1945 units. Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  3. Dennis et al 1995, p. 374.
  4. Eather 1995, p. 63.
  5. "No 25 (City of Perth) Squadron". Royal Australian Air Force. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  6. Eather 1995, pp. 63–64.
  7. "Air Force Training Group". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 20 May 2013.


  • Dennis, Peter; et al. (1995). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (1st ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. ISBN 0-19-553227-9.
  • Eather, Steve (1995). Flying Squadrons of the Australian Defence Force. Weston Creek, Australian Capital Territory: Aerospace Publications. ISBN 1-875671-15-3.
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