HMAS Albatross and 816SQN celebrate 70 years

This article has photo gallery Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), POIS Justin Brown (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross, NSW

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, 816 Squadron

HMAS Albatross celebrates 70 years with a cake cut by (L-R) Lieutenant Commander Bob Kyle; Seaman Aviation Support Kimberley Carter; Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN; and Fleet Air Arm Museum curator Terry Hetherington. (photo: POIS Justin Brown)
HMAS Albatross celebrates 70 years with a cake cut by (L-R) Lieutenant Commander Bob Kyle; Seaman Aviation Support Kimberley Carter; Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross Captain Fiona Sneath, RAN; and Fleet Air Arm Museum curator Terry Hetherington.

HMAS Albatross, home to Royal Australian Navy aviation, has celebrated the 70th anniversary of the establishment’s commissioning.

In August 1948, the local Nowra paper reported that “in glorious sunshine at nine thirty promptly, HMAS Albatross, the first RAN Air Station was commissioned, and a beautiful White Ensign flew proudly from the control tower of the Nowra Aerodrome.”

This year, on Friday 31 August, Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Fiona Sneath shared cake cutting duties with the establishment’s youngest member, Seaman Kimberley Carter, and two custodians of our history; Fleet Air Arm Museum Curator Mr Terry Hetherington and RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam veteran Lieutenant Commander Bob Kyle. 

CAPT Sneath said there was much to celebrate for every person working in Albatross on the 70th anniversary of commissioning.

“I’m proud of our ship's company, proud to be associated with our Fleet Air Arm and all of our Resident Units.

“We all carry out important functions in support of Navy and wider Defence.”

Earlier in the week there was a ceremonial cake cutting at 816 Squadron as they also reached their 70th.

816 Squadron Commanding Officer, Commander Anthony Savage, said he considered it a privilege to be head of 816 for this milestone.

“The anniversary provided us with the opportunity to celebrate the rich history of 816 which includes Battle Honours for Norway, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Malta Convoys, Arctic, Malaysia, East Timor, Persian Gulf, Kuwait and Iraq, and the fact that 816 is the only unit that has been on every Royal Australian Navy deployment to the Middle East since the first Gulf War.” 

“We also celebrated the successful transition to the full MH-60R capability with 816SQN Flight 8 due to embark in HMAS Adelaide soon.”

“I am blessed to have such a wonderful team here in Nowra but also in the 816SQN Flights at sea,” CMDR Savage said.