From the Williamtown Hornet's Nest they have been the front line of Australia's air combat force for more than 30 years.
Monday marked the end of an era for the F/A-18, which has been surpassed by the F-35 Strike Fighter.
Hundreds of past and present technicians, personnel support, engineers gathered to farewell the RAAF icon.
"For those of us who were lucky enough to have flown or worked on these aircraft today is a day of great sadness but also great pride," Air Combat Group, Air Commodore Tim Alsop said.
Group Captain Jason Easthope had the honor of performing the final flight display.
"I tell you what, it's an ageless aeroplane. It's never going to get old, it's never going to look old," he said.
"It was bittersweet for me today because I'm passionate about flying and I love flying the Hornet but it was pretty clear to me today that it was coming to an end."
The first two Hornets arrived at Williamtown on May 17 1985 following a non-stop flight from California.
"The Australian Air Force's 100 year history is a story of people and aircraft and one aircraft that has played a pivotal role in that story is the classic Hornet jet," Defence Minister Peter Dutton said.
After serving our nation with great distinction for more than three decades, after being an icon of Australia's air combat capability for a third of a century we say farewell to the classic Hornet."
The first operational deployment of RAAF Hornets took place on November 2001 following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Thousands of people have been involved in the history of the F/A-18 at Williamtown.
Most of the current crew have transferred to the F-35A Super Hornet up.
Eight planes with the richest history will be displayed at various museums, including Fighter World and the Australian War Memorial.
About 20 have been sold to the Canadian Air Force and the remainder are the subject to a private sale in the US.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: