24-dec-74    to    30-jan-75

Cyclone Tracy relief operations

24-dec-74    to    30-jan-75

australia Darwin, Northern Territory

On 21 Dec 1974 a storm formed over the warm waters of the Arafura Sea, and began to move south westwards, picking up more energy as it went. After a previous cyclone false alarm c 10 days before, the people of Darwin werent overly concerned. On 24 Dec, the storm picked up strength and veered around to the south east and converged on Darwin late on Christmas Eve.

Cyclone Tracy destroyed more than 70% of Darwins buildngs and killed over 70 people.

The Australian Government swung into action and deployed the armed forces as part of a relief operation. Nine Wessex of HS-817 helped move people and equipment while other parts of the relief work involved evacuating people from Darwin while the town was essentially rebuilt. The RAN withdrew at the end of Jan 1975 and handed over to the local Army commander for the remainder of the work.


Dates UnitModels
    dec74 to jan75 AU 817 Squadron Fleet Air Arm (RAN) Wessex

Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

helicopter   Individual helicopters

Model IDs
Sikorsky S-61N VH-UHK    
Westland Wessex HAS.31 N7-200     N7-202    


Aircraft Carrier   Majestic class Royal Australian Navy R21 HMAS Melbourne,
Guided-Missile Destroyer   Perth class Royal Australian Navy D 39 HMAS Hobart, Royal Australian Navy D 41 HMAS Brisbane,
Support Ship   Early Tide class Royal Australian Navy O 195 HMAS Supply,
Support Ship   Stalwart class Royal Australian Navy D215 HMAS Stalwart,

Helicopters for sale
Future helicopters
Flying a helicopter
Helicopter stories
TV and movies

Helicopter books
Helicopter patches
Helicopter model kits