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Caribou Flyover Recognises Air Force Vietnam Vets

Caribou Flyover Recognises Air Force Vietnam Vets

What: A flyover of the Australian War Memorial by a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Caribou aircraft.

When: Friday, 4 April 2008. The flyover will occur shortly after 2.05pm.

The efforts of RAAF personnel who operated Caribou aircraft during the Vietnam War will be recognised in a ceremony in Canberra tomorrow.

A plaque will be unveiled at the Australian War Memorial commemorating the service of RAAF Caribou personnel. Surviving members and families of those who have passed away will also be presented with the United States Air Medal during the ceremony.

The ceremony will be attended by US Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Robert McCallum Jr; Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, Dr Mike Kelly MP and Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd AO.

A RAAF Caribou will conduct a flyover of the Australian War Memorial during the ceremony.

The first Caribous arrived to form the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam (RTFV) at Vung Tau in South Vietnam in 1964, becoming the first RAAF unit in the country. By 1966, seven aircraft were flying with the RTFV and it was reformed as No. 35 Squadron. The unit became widely known as 'Wallaby Airlines' due to its call-sign of 'Wallaby'.

Caribous remain in service today as a combat airlift aircraft with No. 38 Squadron at RAAF Base Townsville.

MEDIA NOTE:

The Caribou will approach Canberra from the direction of Black Mountain, flying over Lake Burley Griffin and over Anzac Parade, before circling the Australian War Memorial and departing back towards Black Mountain. The aircraft will be no lower than 150 metres during its fly-past.

ENDS

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