In 2011/2 I was fortunate to come into contact with a person, Dave, in southern NSW who at the time just happened to be possibly the sole private citizen in Australia to own a very interesting item – a complete but stored unpowered version of the training Mk.1 Bloodhound Surface to Air Missile in Australia.
He had brought this training missile from a South Australian Aviation Museum run by well known Bob Jarratt.
I was given a full tour of the missile and shown how it worked and why it was used by the RAAF to defend mainly northern Australia in the mid to late 1960s Cold War period.
Designed in 1950s and tested and made operational by 1958 with RAF, the Bloodhound Mk 1/2 series had a range of 85km and a top speed of mach 2.7 …..thus showing the missile was very capable of doing its role.
I recall been told the RAAF used the Bloodhound (which entered service in January 1961 at Williamtown NSW) to ward off the Russian built Indonesian flown doing overflights/ intrusions into northern Australia/Darwin airspace via numerous Tu-16 Badgers in the early-mid 1960s…
As part of the preparations to defend northern Australia, the city of Darwin had air raid sirens installed which were to be used in case enemy bombers were to ever again bomb Australia. Noted as tested each month, the air raid sirens operating well into the 1970s and would of brought fear to some locals no doubt who still vividly recalled the dark days of WW2 when the Japs bombed Darwin and other parts of Australia… beginning in February 1942.
The RAAF did deploy Williamtown based CAC Sabre jets to Darwin but these couldn’t easily reach the bombers. So the RAAF decided to move up some Bloodhounds missiles to provide a limited SAM defence to northern Australia in 1964.Normally based at RAAF Williamtown, a Bloodhound missile detachment from 30 Sqn was sent north to Darwin to boost the defence posture. This seemed to work like magic …….alongside the Mirage which came later in the 1960s…..as the enemy bombers didn’t fly as often all across northern Australia afterwards…..
By 1968, the RAAF’s Bloodhound Mk. I missiles were basically useless and becoming obsolete. 30 Sqn was disbanded by end of November 1968 and thus passed an interesting chapter of RAAF missile operations in to history…
Shown below is a photo showing what is believed to be the fully assembled missile of David before it was moved from South Australia in 2007 (Peripitus)
My photos below show the Bloodhound missile as was stored in early 2012.
In late 2012 Dave decided to sell his beloved Bloodhound missile to get space in the garage. The Queensland Air Museum acquired the missile and it was removed and taken to Queensland in early 2013 where it will be rebuilt and put on display. This will allow many many more people to see a silent warrior formerly of the RAAF, once again on show.
Part 2 hopefully of this story to come in future, will show more of the missile as Dave acquired it, moved it and then as it left to go to the QAM.