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A new VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day commemoration service ceremony has taken place at the Air Force Memorial, Torrens Parade Ground, Adelaide, with the day remembering the end of the Second World War for Australia.
The ceremony is now one of four commemorative services held in Adelaide annually, and provides an "important opportunity" for the few remaining RAAF World War 2 veterans who served in the Pacific to be appropriately acknowledged by the RAAF and the broader community.
The others services are for the formation of the RAAF in March, the Bomber Command Commemorative Service in June and the Battle of Britain Commemorative Service in September.
Robert Black, president of the RAAF Association (South Australia), said it was wonderful to have this ceremony, along with the annual Bomber Command and the Battle of Britain ceremonies in Adelaide.
“These ceremonies mean so much to our South Australian veterans and we greatly appreciate the fantastic support of RAAF Base Edinburgh without which these ceremonies could not be possible,” Black said.
The ceremony also provided an opportunity for several squadrons at RAAF Edinburgh that served in the Pacific during World War II, including 24 Squadron (City of Adelaide Squadron), 11 Squadron and 87 Squadron, to embrace the legacy of their squadrons.
Wing Commander Orton, Commanding Officer 24 Squadron, noted 24 Squadron’s vital contributions including in the defence of Rabaul, ground attack in New Guinea and heavy bomber strike role in Dutch East Indies.
“Commemorating the sacrifice and deeds of our squadron in World War II is vitally important for us as a unit today,” WGCDR Orton said.
The service was also significant for 11 Squadron, which this year is celebrating the 80th anniversary of its formation.
Around 150 people, including political, senior Defence and community dignitaries, veterans (current and ex serving RAAF veterans, including several who served in World War II in the Pacific), attended the ceremony.