Fighter Squadrons Branch

Warries and Stories

The RAAF Mirage Story

A book by Marty Susans

You can download the full book in PDF format using this link (15MB), and we ask for a donation to Legacy (suggest $5-10) using the details below.

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 Marty's book

The RAAF Mirage Story is a compilation of personal accounts by those who built, maintained and operated the RAAF Mirage. It is not an official history but is a story as recalled by those who took part. Throughout the text, the words of the authors appear in italics, whereas my own words of introduction or explanation appear in this standard font.

Before the introduction of the Mirage, the RAAF's operational fighter force comprised four squadrons and an OCU equipped with the Avon Sabre. Numbers 3 and 77 Squadrons were based at Butterworth, whilst 75,76 and 2 0CU were based at Williamtown. The Butterworth contingent also provided aircraft, pilots and groundcrew on a rotational basis for No 79 Squadron, a permanent detachment of eight aircraft in Ubon, Thailand under a SEATO arrangement. A total of 112 Avon Sabres were built in Australia, the last one being delivered to the RAAF on 19 December 1961.

The requirement to replace the Avon Sabre arose early in the era of the US Century Series fighters when level supersonic flight became commonplace and a Mach 2 capability was regarded as a standard for a combat fighter aircraft. US-built aircraft of this calibre were the F-104, F-105 and F-106. In Europe, promising comparable aircraft were the English Electric Lightning, the Swedish Draken and the French Mirage III.