Stuart Scott, who talks of cars and things automotive for the Courier and Sunday Mails in Brisbane, rang looking for anyone who has recollections of the beach and/or surfing conditions anywhere in Vietnam during the time the RAAF/Army/Navy were there in the 60's and early 70's. He's hoping to write a book about it, and would appreciate any info and photos anyone might have. If you can help you can contact him on 07 3666 6129 or via email to:- firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above at a duty crew BBQ at Back Beach, Vung Tau, towards the middle of 1969, are:-
L-R Peter (Dit) Eaton [Sumpie], Graham (Butch) Connolly [Sumpie], Bob Campbell [Sumpie]
Peter Harvey [Framie], and Peter Thom [Framie].
This photo was taken in 2006 and overlooks Back Beach, where the BBQ photo above was taken.
Things have certainly changed in 40 years.
Peter (Robbo) Robinson intends to write on several 'events, items, operations and/or incidents' that No. 9 Squadron was involved in, one way or another, in the Vietnam War. He says he's decided to do this before he "falls off the perch" - so to speak. He's asking if any one has any info/thoughts/text/ maps/photographs etc of the following 'events'/'operations' etc - then he'd really appreciate it.
He says the material will NOT be owned/copyrighted by him and will, in the future, belong to No9 SQN Assoc for historical purposes. All contributions will be honoured in one form or another.
Incidents he's interested in are:-
If anyone can help with any of the above, please contact Robbo. Photographs will be a prominent feature of articles written. You can read more about it HERE
Laurie Lindsay wrote, G'day fellers, re Chubby Chandler, Chubby and I were at Maintenance Squadron East Sale in 1964. In those days he drove a crappy old panel van. Over winter about six of us used to travel down to Melbourne every weekend to play with the RAAF 1st Grade rugby team. Chubby used to drive us down in his "four wheeled motel room" as it was affectionately known. I think he used to get five pence a mile from Welfare.
I have a valve amplifier (6V6 output stage) and Chubby bashed up the chassis for me. It is made of copper sheeting and I would hate to think what it is worth.
I agree with all those comments about Chubby, he was a great bloke and a great mate.
Wayne Smith got in touch, he says: "Great to see everything back to life, the RAM is always a great read. On a lighter note, good to see a letter from Ron Shannon (not Bob) in magazine 18, I knew it was you all along Ron."
Trudi Macpherson wrote on behalf of her dad, Neil (Boonga) Macpherson, who is interested in Radschool Memories. She wants to know if we have any on Ballarat for the period 1951-57 as he would be very grateful and love to hear or read any stories about his time there?. (We don't Trudi, bit before our time, but there has to be a bunch of blokes out there who went through Ballarat and who can give us some stories and photos - please????)
Don Cureton wrote. The RAM is a quality production (thanks Don - the cheque is in the mail - tb), I certainly have no problems with it being on line only. Is there any provision to download the complete PDF to save for posterity or to print for a friend etc ? (Just ask and ye shall receive - tb) It appears to only download a page at a time. Not a major problem anyway. I know where Alan O'Connor is in Townsville. I passed the information on to him and he should contact you in due course. If he doesn't let me know and I'll wind him up a bit. (Wind him up Don - haven't heard - tb)
I had a fairly unspectacular career in the RAAF, In fact I didn't even finish Appies and at the end of second year I was given the option of going back a course or Discharge. I considered it for 30-40 milliseconds, opted for a discharge, got a job (in radio ) went back to RMIT picked up most of the subjects I needed and here I am 40 years later still in the radio business. I've maintained contact with quite a few of the blokes over the years and that's why I'm still involved.
Robin Belford wrote. Howdy, I was on 9 Radio Apprentice course, joined Mar 55 at Frognall and went to Radschool at Ballarat in '58. In Vol 20, p15, Frank Alley asked if anyone had the name of the OC Laverton in 1968. I was OIC TIMS at 1AD in Dec 68-Dec 69 (Roy Prowse was CO 1AD when I arrived), and as I remember the OC Laverton was Grp Capt D.L.G. Douglas. I believe that he had flown Sunderlands with 10Sqn in WW2, but I was not aware of his Pathfinder days. I remember D.L.G. Douglas well, as in Dec 64 I returned to Oz from France on the ocean liner SS Oriana with a bunch of RAAF and Army people returning from various postings in Europe. Ship travel was far cheaper than international air travel at the time, so we were all forced to spend three weeks travelling by ship in first-class comfort - needless to say, an enjoyable time was had by all!
Grp Capt Douglas was on board, as well as Sqn Ldr Doug Cameron who was on his way to Laverton. Anyway, one of the diversions on board was to sit on a pole over the swimming pool with an adversary and see who could knock the other person into the pool. DLG was a big man, and always clobbered me first. One Pathfinder pilot with whom I served on a couple of postings was Jim Rowland (ARDU 60-61, AA Paris 63 where Ron Susans was AA and Jim Rowland was the STechO). Towards the end of 1963 these two were replaced by Glen Cooper and Leo Smyth respectively. Jim Rowland later became AMTS and then changed category to GD and became CAS, retired and was appointed Governor of NSW. He later in 1993 became a Director of the French subsidiary Thomson Radar Australia Corporation when I was Marketing Manager - see later.
At ARDU I was OIC Panclimatic Labs at Point Cook 60-61, and therefore was interested to read the recent article by Ken Corkhill who was one of the experts there at the time - it was very interesting work and I remember testing some missile homing heads in the cold chamber. In 62 I slipped next door to RAAFLANGSCL to learn French en route to Paris to be one of the early group there on the Mirage project, and left LANGSCL a year later as an interpreter/translator (French). This stood me in good stead at the time in Paris and in later years, as in 1971 I resigned from the RAAF as a Sqn Ldr and joined the French company Thomson-CSF (now Thales) with which I worked for 25 years.
I was OIC Radio at 478(M) Sqn at the time, and remember Ralph Dries turning up in 1970 on his first posting, I was saddened to read of his recent passing away.
My first task with Thomson-CSF was to open the company rep office in Canberra in 71; I migrated to France in 78, worked in the International Division in Paris at the India and RSA desk, transferred to the Avionics Division as an export marketing engineer and then went to Singapore in 82 for seven years as regional representative covering S'pore, Thailand, Burma, Brunei, Philippines and Hong Kong. In 89 Thomson-CSF created Thomson Radar Australia Corporation TRAC in Canberra where I was appointed Marketing Manager and we set about pursuing ATC contracts culminating in the current TAAATS system. When TRAC moved to Melbourne in 95 I retired and came up north to Queensland.
One other 9 Course ex-app, who was at LANGSCL in 62, was Pat Hodgon. Pat was studying Mandarin He excelled, went off to do what Chinese language experts did at the time, then later undertook Thai at LANGSCL, again excelling and ending up as a significant figure in Thai/Aust business activities. Frank also asked if any one out there remembered Jack Saunderson. In my case the answer is affirmative. I knew Jack well, and was on the customer end of his screened room business at 1AD TIMS. That's enough reminiscing for the moment. The Radschool magazine is read with interest and I often come across names and photos of people I knew in the RAAF days and since. I'll ask Kev Maddox to send off some records of the 9 Course 50 year/52 year reunions. I think that he is off at the moment to the Feb 08 Radschool reunion at Ballarat.
Ian Johnston writes, Hi Ted, I've identified a basketball player with you on page 11 of Vol. 21 of the Radschool Magazine. Number 10 (top left ) is non other than Jim Graham who I knew at Laverton in '67 when were both instructors.
I think Jim still lives in Ballarat as I met him at the last Radschool reunion 3 years back. He was head of Engineering at Ballarat Base Hospital and if I remember correctly one or two of us used to take out a few nurses from there......
I'm not sure whether or not he's going to be at the next reunion, if he is I'll send him your regards.
BUT!!! Graeme Skinner, who lives over in the West, remembers things a little differently, he says number 10 is - "Ken" Turner, 13 - Dallas Leach, 8 - John Turner and 4 - Ted McEvoy, and he says the date is not 1961 but more like about 1976 - 1979.
Ah, the mind, she do funny things!!!!
Stephen Rance, who lives in Vic, says, "In 1968/69 I was part of 88 Teleg Course at Laverton. I eventually graduated as a TelsopC. I was "Lucky" enough to get posted to Supcom, Vic Barracks, Melbourne; Williamtown, NSW; Opcom, Penrith/Glenbrook, NSW; and then a giant step to Pearce, WA. I was discharged as an LAC (bit of a run in with a WO spoilt any chance of promotion) after 9 years, in 1977. I have been living in Melbourne ever since. I have only just heard about the Radschool organisation, and would very much enjoy being part of it. Please "enlist" me with full membership, and advise if membership fees are still required. Thank you very much for your assistance and I look forward to hearing from you.
Glad to have you Steve - no fees though, we don't have any costs so - no fees....but, you could send us a story on what life was like as a Telsop - and some photos too, if you've got any...... tb
Richard Harcourt (below) is with the RAF Butterworth and Penang Association in the UK and is Chairman and Editor of the Ex RAF’s 103MU Reunion Group. He says, thanks for the latest RadSchool Newsletter. Some very interesting articles especially that relating to the Mirage. I was at Butterworth with the RAF when they arrived to take over from the Sabre Wing. My job at the time was looking after the ATC Tower equipment and was in Local when the first group arrived and it was quite funny. The ATC Controllers had been used to the landing speed over the threshold of aircraft such as the Sabre, RAF Hunters and Javelins, Victors and Vulcan's and the many piston aircraft based at or passing through Butterworth. When the Mirage arrived with their much higher landing speed there was more than a little surprise and consternation.
Mind you a little while later the first RAF Lightning's came through en-route to Singapore as a further reinforcement build-up. That caused a real buzz and someone was very close to punching the "Crash" button. It was very interesting to be in the tower on both occasions. I have several hundred photos of my tour at Butterworth which we all look back on with happy memories.
The article on the phasing out of the AT26 transmitter also brought back memories and I only regret that I never took any photos of the transmitter hall with the row of AT26's, RAF 1509's, T1131 VHF, and BUHF transmitters. It was very interesting in 2004 on one of our holidays in Penang and Singapore to be invited to have a look around transmitters. Couldn't believe the completely empty transmitter hall. I suppose that is progress that has progressed even further to digital internet comms. All the old rhombic aerials had been replaced by log periodics and of course the NDB with its 200ft masts had also gone. That definitely won't be missed.
A real frightener when one had to actually get inside and service the thing with nasty EHT capacitors all round and praying that you have discharged them properly with the broom handle device?
I've attached a photo of Windsun Photo in Penang to go with the text that you included in Newsletter 21.
Richard has sent us some great photos of Butterworth - but you'll have to wait until next issue......tb
Rick Holmes from the Vietnam Vets Association asks if anyone can help ex-F/SGT Warren Black. The following two photos were taken at Phan Rang on the 16th April 1967 and were of the ceremony to record the arrival of Canberra Bombers and aircrew from Malaysia to Phan Rang.
Warren is the bloke (obscured) holding the flag on the right of the photo at right. Warren is after the photographer who took the photo (maybe Flt Lt G. Chambers) so that he may obtain a front-on photo of himself on this rather auspicious occasion.
Any other former RAAF member who has any photographic record of this event is invited to contact Warren at the following email address. email@example.com