More Than an Air Force Station

loading Flight line in the early 1960s at RAAF Butterworth.

The RAAF base in Butterworth spawned a colourful community whose influences can still be felt today.

It was Australia’s biggest single engagement with Asia.

At one point in the 1970s there were thousands of Australians in Penang, but few here now know why they came in the first place, and what the handful of remaining Australians from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) are still doing here.

There are currently around 130 Australian service personnel stationed at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Butterworth. This base was officially opened in October 1941 as a Royal (British) Air Force (RAF) base – part of a belated attempt to defend Malaya from the Japanese during World War II.


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