Skippy SquadronPrint Page Print this page


Plaque commemorates personnel who served with the Skippy Squadron during the Second World War and the Vietnam War and is in memory of those who lost their lives during World War Two. The plaque was rededicated in 2012. 

The Skippy Squadron also known as the Red Tailed Rats is made up of the Qantas Crews who crewed Qantas aircraft into war zones.

Between 1965 and 1972 Qantas flew civilian charter flights from Sydney to Saigon, carrying approximately half of all Australian service personnel sent to the Vietnam War. These flights were given various nicknames, the most common being “Skippy Squadron”, but they were also called “Champagne Flights”, and the “Red Tail Rats”.

More than five hundred Qantas staff crewed, maintained, serviced, and coordinated Skippy Squadron flights. There was no shortage of volunteers to fly or service the Boeing 707s, even though it was understood they would be going to a war zone.

Qantas Pilots and Crew also worked in war zones during the Second World War and the Korean War. 



Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280169
Long: 149.147612
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 30th January, 2007
Front Inscription
In memory of those civilian aircrew and ground staff - who under the control of the RAAF — operated unarmed aircraft in Papua New Guinea and over the Pacific and Indian Oceans during the Second World War. Their roles included evacuating civilians and soldiers from threatened areas, dropping supplies to troops, and keeping the air routes and lines of communication open. 

Eighteen Australian civilian aircrew were killed during the war.

During the Vietnam War members of the Australian Task Force and other personnel of Australian Forces, Vietnam were transported to and from the country by chartered QANTAS aircraft flown by civilian air crew. 

Dedicated by "Skippy Squadron" (QANTAS civilian aircrew — Vietnam)  on 30 January 2007, the 65th anniversary of the first QANTAS aircraft  and crew lost to enemy action in the Second World War 
Source: DVA, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design