A youthful Chris Beatty in a 9SQN RAAF ‘Huey’ in 1969.

Chris Beatty, GDPLT, served in South Vietnam with No. 9 SQN RAAF SVN from 13May 1969 until 13 May 1970 and on 22 April 1970, he was awarded the DFC for his flying performance in combat with No. 9 SQN.
Due largely to his piloting skill, he was posted to Central Flying School (CFS), the ‘flying instructors’ school’ at RAAF Base East Sale VIC where he made a valuable contribution from July 1975 until 1978.
Subsequently, Chris served for a number of years with No. 12 SQN RAAF flying and instructing on the Boeing CH-47C Medium Lift ‘Chinook’ helicopter from RAAF Base Amberley SE QLD and was Commanding Officer No. 12 SQN RAAF during the period 6 December 1984 to 29 November 1987. Nicknamed ‘Speedball’, Chris had a most significant and successful RAAF career and retired with the rank of Air Commodore.

28 June 1970
No. 9 Squadron RAAF Vietnam completed 40,000 flying hours ‘in country’.

July 1970
Iroquois A2-110 – ‘The Snake Incident’: This aircraft was involved in an unusual “un-airworthy” incident when it was discovered that a 1.6 metre-long snake had taken up residence, requiring considerable dismantling of the aircraft before the unwelcome passenger could be removed.
Maintenance personnel detect cracking tail booms on a number of aircraft.
Replacement aircraft Iroquois A2-703 and A2-723 were collected from Pleiku, SVN, and a fourth gunship was configured and was ‘put on line’ on 31 July 1970.
Gloucester Cup 1969/1970 awarded to No. 9 Squadron RAAF SVN

3 July 1970
A2-768 crashed; written-off. Crewman LAC Duncan McNair was seriously injured and sadly, he died as a result of those injuries on 20 July 1970.

November 1970
Special ground handling wheel fitments were manufactured to enable movement of gunships configured with rocket pods. Modifications to the Iroquois under-fuselage were done so that each ‘slick’ aircraft could carry a Stokes Litter externally but still give crewman access for in-flight hover rescues using the stokes fitted to the hoist cable. Air Transportable Cabins for the FSP at Nui Dat were received.