NO 31 Squadron

No 31 (City of Wagga Wagga) Squadron is part of Air Force Training Group and reports to Headquarters RAAF College.

20160608_-_image_-_102257_-_raaf_wagga_magazine31SQN is responsible for the military coordination of RAAF Base Wagga and provides support to training activities for the ADF operating from RAAF Base Wagga. 31SQN provides an array of necessary functions in order to effectively assist with the delivery of Induction, Initial Employment Training and Postgraduate Training. With services including Base Command and Control, coordination of Airbase operations, support for ADF exercises, ceremonial functions, chaplaincy and Physical Training and Rehabilitation. 31SQN undertakes the important roles of maintaining and improving relationships with the traditional custodians of the land, the Wiradjuri people through the introduction of the Indigenous Liaison Officer position. The squadron also plays a major role with coordination of Air Force Reserve members in the Riverina region, assisting in the delivery of Resilience and Wellbeing Training and facilitation of other base-wide events, including VIP visits.

Under the Base Accountabilities Model (BAM) the Commanding Officer of 31SQN is the Air Base Executive Officer (ABXO) and reports to the Senior Australian Defence Force Officer (SADFO) who authorises common base activities and has the lead on interaction with the local community.

31SQN is currently in the process of significantly improving its ability to deliver capability in response to critical 20160526_-_image_-_150615_-_raaf_wagga_magazineincidents and emergencies and the delivery of chaplaincy services. HQ 31SQN will shortly relocate to a much needed, modern HQ facility which will enable the Airbase Executive Officer (CO 31SQN) to provide enhanced command and control of the Air Base Command Post. 31SQN Chaplains will also be relocated to different working accommodation providing convenient access for RAAFSTT and RAAFSALT trainees.

History of No 31 Squadron

No. 31 Squadron was formed at the Forest Hill base near Wagga Wagga, NSW, on 14 August 1942. After equipping with the Bristol Beaufighter and being brought up to strength, it moved to Batchelor in the Northern Territory in October and then to its new home at Coomalie Creek, south of Darwin in November. The squadron’s first combat operation took place on 17 November 1942.

Over the next two years, 31 Squadron flew ground attack sorties against the Japanese in Timor and the Netherlands East Indies, as well as anti-shipping patrols and convoy protection missions. One of its greatest successes was the raid on Penfoei on 2 December 1942, when the Beaufighters caught 40 Japanese aircraft on the ground. Without loss to themselves, they destroyed eighteen and damaged many more. In November 1944, the squadron deployed to Noemfoor, from where it flew two convoy protection missions before moving again, to Morotai, in late December to attack Japanese positions in the Celebes and Halmahera Islands.

Setting up on Tarakan in May 1945, 31 Squadron carried out strikes in support of the Australian landings in Borneoraaf_2016_0114 and Brunei in June and the operations that followed. After the Japanese surrendered on 15 August, the squadron dropped leaflets over the Halmaheras to inform the garrison of those islands that the war was over.

No. 31 Squadron returned to Australia in December 1945 and disbanded at RAAF Base Williamtown on 9 July 1946.

Decorations

  • 16 DFC
  • 2 DFC and Bar
  • 1 DFM
  • 6 MID
  • 1 King’s Commendation for Brave Conduct

The unit is recognised in the following Battle Honours:

  • Pacific 1942-1945
  • Darwin 1942-1944
  • Eastern Waters 1942-1945
  • Morotai
  • Borneo 1945

raaf_2016_0111_2No. 31 Squadron reformed at RAAF Base Wagga on 1 July 2010.

31SQN Mission: Co-ordinate and provide support in conduct of ADF training and Airbase operations at RAAF Base Wagga.