Fighter Squadrons Branch

Warries and Stories

The DELTAS - Dave Robson

A book by Dave Robson

You can download the full book in PDF format using this link (66MB), and we ask for a donation to Legacy (suggest $5-10) using the details below.

If anyone would like to purchase a copy of a printed book, please contact [email protected]

Donation to Legacy

Bank Transfer:

  • NAB
  • 77 Squadron Association
  • BSB: 082 847
  • Account No: 14 390 4277
  • Reference: Legacy

Cheque, make it out to:

The Secretary
No. 77 Squadron Association
PO Box 467

An extract from Dave's book



This story relates a brief but spectacular period in the history of 77 (Fighter) Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, which occurred over a period of five months at the end of 1970 and the beginning of 1971. The events were non-combatant but nevertheless significant. The squadron was tasked to form a grander than usual, aerobatic display team to mark the 50th anniversary of the RAAF.

The 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the RAAF

The Australian Flying Corps - an integral part of the Australian Army - was formed at Point Cook before the First World War. But this new corps was to become a force of its own. Just as the Royal Air Force evolved from the Royal Flying Corps, the Australian Flying Corps became the Royal Australian Air Force on the 21st of March 1921. Thus the fiftieth anniversary was March 1971 - and in those days we were allowed to celebrate with due ceremony.

Our squadron (77) was tasked to form an aerobatic team to tour the major bases of Australia and to mark the occasion as a part of a bigger air show spectacular.

The initial concept was for a standard team of four aircraft. We realised and persuaded Operational Command, of the need for a solo. The Mirage needed much sky and therefore a solo was needed to fill in the gaps and to have an aircraft in front of the crowd at all times. The formations for a team of four aircraft were limited (Card Four and Diamond Four) so we argued for a fifth aircraft (to add Vic, Goose and Card Five). The solo joined the team for a Delta formation of six. As we developed confidence we added a second solo aircraft for some exciting cross-over manoeuvres. This was to be unique team for a unique occasion -and we wanted it to be done professionally in all respects.