In July 1968 a No. 9 Squadron ‘in-house’ Gunship Development commenced, led by (then) Squadron Leader Brian Dirou DFC, Pilot. The prototype aircraft was UH-1H A2-773 (displayed at the AWM in Canberra). Flight trials commenced and development continued until November. The Australian government approved purchase of some weapon kits in December 1968. Through January 1969, there was further No. 9 Squadron ‘in-house’ Gunship Development; 7 sets of gunship equipment were in location and the modification of six aircraft began. In March 1969, ‘in-house’ Gunship Aircrew and Maintenance training began.

No. 9 Squadron RAAF Iroquois Bravo Model A2-1025 ‘Ned Kelly’ with L/R: SGT Ernie Moore, FLTLT Bob Thompson, SQNLDR Jim Cox and LAC Ted Maxwell.

Gunship progression by Brian Dirou

Nev Pratt, ADG and No. 9 SQN RAAF SVN Gunner, pictured at the Bushranger starboard twin M60 gun station sometime during his SVN tour 22 December 1969 until 25 December 1970.


Bob Upham, GDPLT re-arming a No. 9 SQN RAAF SVN ‘Bushranger’ gunship at Kanga Pad, Nui Dat in late 1970


Jack Lynch, pilot, No. 9 Squadron RAAF SVN, re-arming the mini-guns on one of the ‘Bushies’ in 1969 – 1970. Source: unknown.