More Than an Air Force Station

By Louise Goss-Custard

main image
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)...

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Louise Goss-Custard

is editor of the Penang Free Sheet (, co-organiser of Open Studios Penang, and a keen flautist who plays with Penang’s best Irish band, the DramBand (www.facebook. com/DramBandPenang) and several local orchestras.