22 April 1964 – First Caribous delivered to the RAAF


Caribous at 38 Squadron RAAF Richmond NSW

On this day, three DHC-4 Caribou Mk 1 light transports arrived at RAAF Base Richmond on delivery from the De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada factory at Downsview in Toronto, Ontario.  The Australian Government had placed an order for 18 of these aircraft in May 1963, the intention being to completely re-equip No 38 Squadron (then operating C-47/DC-3 Dakotas) by December 1964.  A second consignment of three Caribous was similarly received in June, following a route across the Atlantic to Europe and through the Red Sea, but then the third and fourth batches were diverted to Vietnam instead (see 8 August). In September, seven more Caribous were ordered –– six to enable the re-equipment program to continue, plus another to replace one wrecked in a landing accident in July.  Eventually a total of 29 airframes of this type joined the RAAF, the last of which were withdrawn from service in 2009.

More information here:  http://www.airforce.gov.au/raafmuseum/research/aircraft/series3/A4.htm

Information supplied by Craig “Smithy” Smith

1 thought on “22 April 1964 – First Caribous delivered to the RAAF”

  1. John Sargeant says:

    Pretty much as I remember the line. 38Sqn’s A4-199 in white livery (still with RAAF insignia) being readied for transfer to UN duty in Kashmir UNIGOP. The photo would be circa 1973-4 or thereabouts. The yanks in Vietnam enamored by its ruggedness & heavy duty short field performance affectionaly named 35Sqn’s red wallaby tailed Bou’s with a knicname that stuck, ‘Wallaby Airlines’, they were ferried home for 2nd line servicings at 38Sqn and the E’s were contracted out to De-Haviland. J.S. Framie 38Sqn (retired)

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