21 Jul 1950 – RAAF transports flew in Malayan Emergency

On 21 April 1950, the British Government asked Australia for a direct contribution of air units to help in defeating a Communist-led insurgency which had broken out in Malaya 22 months earlier. Australia agreed on 19 May to send a squadron of eight C-47 Dakota transports, and a month later No 38 Squadron arrived at Changi airfield on Singapore Island. The unit flew its first mission in support of Operation Firedog (the RAF name for the air campaign during the Malayan Emergency) on this day, when a Dakota completed a routine courier run to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Taiping. In November, four of 38 Squadron’s aircraft were transferred to Japan, to provide support to Australian forces engaged in the war which began in Korea in June, and by November 1952 increasing demands on the RAAF’s transport fleet led to the rest of the unit being withdrawn back to Australia.

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