ASO was privileged to be one of the few media outlets to be allowed to get the first photos of F/A-18A Hornet A21-27 which has been specially painted for the 100th anniversary of 3 Squadron. 3SQN was formed on the 18th of September 1916 at Australian Imperial Forces camp beside the Central Flying School at Point Cook , Victoria. The 18 officers and 230 airmen started what was first called 2 Squadron but this would change to 3 Squadron soon after. The pilot’s were first trained in England on AVRO 504k aircraft and soon they would see action in World War 1.
The Squadron’s motto came out of this time in WW1 when one of it’s roles was reconnaissance ” OPERTA APERTA ” which means “ SECRETS REVEALED “.
The scheme the squadron has chosen to represent the 100th Anniversary is of the 3SQN 2nd highest ACE, Wing Commander Robert “Bobby” Gibbes DSO, DFC and Bar who was the CO of 3SQN from 26/02/1942 – 23/05/1942 and 26/06/1942 – 19/04/1943. Bobby ended the war with 10 credited aircraft destroyed and sharing destruction of 2 other aircraft with 2 other pilots. The aircraft code CV-V was used on different type aircraft but its best known on the P-40E Kittyhawk (desert Scheme) used by Bobby .
Pays Air Service own the P-40E painted in the Desert Scheme and are very honored to have had Bobby sign the front cowl. This aircraft is in immaculate condition and I’m sure when the time is right a formation flight with A21-27 will happen.
More recently F/A-18A Hornet A21-3 has had Bobby’s name on the aircraft.
This scheme has created so much talk as everyone has an opinion on how it should look but really until you see it up close and have time to walk around it in different light I think it will be one of those schemes that will grow on people. I really want to see the aircraft in the air and then see really how it looks but for now here is a quick walk around of the aircraft.
It’s a very big few months with a lot of celebrations for 1,2,3 & 4 Squadron 100th Anniversary and ASO will bring it all to you.
Massive thankyou to 3SQN & RAAF media for the chance to record history.