Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 24
We heard from Gary Olsen who asks: I have received a phone call from Ms Ros Bryan who is a DVA advocate in Victoria currently acting on behalf of Graeme Mounsey. Graeme currently is making a claim and Ros would like to contact anyone who worked with him during his posting with No 2 Squadron at Phan Rang 26Nov68 to 27Nov69. Graeme was a Supplier and I’m advised he worked in the store.
Ros is making enquiries as to the possibility of various solvents being handled in the store. She mentioned kerosene, turpentine and tourmaline (I have been unable to identify the latter, could it be toluene?).
Unfortunately Graeme is very ill with MS and currently he is unable to converse with Ros. Even if you weren’t at Phan Rang at the same time but worked in the store and have relevant information it would be of assistance.
Ros can be contacted on 03 5682 1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you feel uncomfortable with that arrangement Gary would be happy to pass on any information.
Noel Hadfield wrote: The REOA committee has arranged for the production and supply of a limited number of caps and casual shirts embossed with the official REOA logo.
The shirt is a casual short sleeve shirt with collar, front buttons and pocket with one universal size XL which will fit most of us. The caps are a universal adjustable size. Both are white and have light blue edgings and look quite pleasant but are intended for casual wear.
One off special offer: Caps @ $15 each. Shirts @ $25 each. First in - first served. To arrange for purchase contact Ron Ledingham on email@example.com and/or call him on 0409 420 458. Ron has the items with him at his home in Croydon Melbourne. Delivery will be arranged on a one on one arrangement as best suits; packaging and postage will have to be added if needed.
The committee encourages you to purchase and make use of these items to give a visual profile for the REOA as well as providing you with a comfortable casual shirt and cap for your own use on appropriate occasions. Several of the REOA caps were observed being used by members on Anzac Day which was great. Regards,
Laurie Lindsay wrote “Frank Alley made reference to Jeff Trappett in one of his recent articles. I was at ARDU in 1969 doing flight inspection of the Air Force’s navigation aids. Jeff was one of the pilots and we used to trundle around Australia in DC3s. Some of the other people doing this work were Dave Gaffee, Barry Gillick, Alan Quick and John Hartley.
On one trip, we took off to calibrate Pearce and Gin Gin and on long jaunts we took along an extra pilot. Jeff came along as the third pilot and he harangued us all the way across the Nullarbor about how he had organised himself a Macchi conversion.
In order to calibrate the CADF (commutated antenna direction finding), we had VHF and UHF transmitters on board the aircraft modified for constant transmit. There were also people on the ground at the CADF site with a chart recorder monitoring the aircraft signal. We would start off with a 5 mile orbit and the boys would track the aircraft with a theodolite as the reference.
Theodolite tracking was not suitable for the 25 mile orbit, therefore, we employed the navigator to pinpoint previously surveyed landmarks and somebody on board the aircraft would switch the transmitters off and on, so that we could work out the CADF angle.
Jeff got his Macchi conversion and on this particular day his job was to turn the transmitters off and on. He was still in Macchi mode with head in the clouds and finger up bum.
The conversation went something like this:
Navigator: “Left, left, steady, steady, a little left, steady, steady, steady – MARK!”
Jeff: “What! Oh bugger it! I missed it!”
Me: “Would somebody tell Pilot Officer Trappett, that he is driving a switch and not a Macchi”
Jeff: “Oh Bloody hell! I am never going to hear the end of this”
And he was right!
David Marr wrote Thanks for the email and a couple of the missing names for the Richmond Rugby Team. If my memory is correct, I think Jack Donlan was the team captain. In the second team photo he is standing at the left, dressed in mufti. As Alf Smith mentions, Jack was a bit of a legend. (And I can vouch for that – tb)
Thanks also for another great RAM. I can’t express well enough, how much pleasure and sense of comradeship I get from reading about old mates and great times.
It was good to see Peter Mead (right) in the last issue. I would like to contact Peter and would appreciate your passing on the message to him. (Done!!) Peter and I were on the same rookies course and went on together to RadSchool at Ballarat for our RadMechs course. I’ve only seen Peter once since our RAAF days, when he called into our shop in Tewantin many years ago.
Randall Kingsley writes, I have taken a look from time to time at the Radschool Association Magazine and thought it was about time to I provided an input. The RAM certainly brings back some great memories without being one to reflect too much on what we went through way back then. As an 18 Course Appy and then for a short while a RadtechG, I think it is about time we moved the magazine onwards from Quad and CPN4 so have included a photo of an AN/FPN-802.
I’m not sure if this equipment is still being used, but others might know.
Ken Hodge wrote, Further to Howie Campbell's advice of the 2CARU reunion in Darwin planned for September 2009 we are inviting anybody who was involved with the CARU units whether they were admin, ops, techs or the dozen other musterings it took to run a CARU. We hope to finalise a venue for the reunion in early September which will depend on the numbers attending. For anyone interested the info is available HERE
Graeme Wilson wrote, I happened to read in Vol 22, page 17, that David Marr is looking for Eddy Berry. I worked with Ed Berry in Townsville at Skywest Aviation on the Customs Coastwatch program from 1987 to 1990. We were both employed by AWA and subcontracted to Skywest Aviation. Ed's full name is George Edward Berry which is probably why David may not have been able to find him.
I am an ex RAAFie RADTECH AIR. I did my trade training on 142 RTC from December 1980 to June 1982 and then did 2 years at 38 Sqn on Caribous and then 2 years at 35 Sqn on Caribous and Iroquois.
I had started writing my life story so it could be put on the RADSCHOOL site, but only got a few pages done. That was back in 2000 or 2001. (Keep at it Graeme, we’d love to get it – tb)
I went to one of the reunions in Brisbane in 2000 or 2001 at the Irish Club, I think, but only knew one person there. I was probably the youngest person there and felt like a shag on a rock totally out of place. But when I left, I had the overwhelming sense of pride in that I was really a member of an elite group of people, all fix it people.
Not long after I had started at Laverton, our course was given a pep talk where we were told that we were an elite group of people, and at the time, I just thought that was all part of the standard military brain washing process, but it turned out to be true.
Rod Faux says: Hi, further to the names that Ray Buck sent you for the 75 SQN photo. A few of us have been in touch to come up with the attached list of names. The photo was arranged by Kev Rosser in about 1987. The names are L-R
Perched on top of aircraft
Mathew Oliver. Leon Schultz. Greg “Cobber’ Fenwick. Paul Albrecht. Rod Faux. Mick Clements
Standing against side of aircraft
Peter Roberts. Geoff Marchant. Rod Lennon
Sitting on wing
Jeff Ballard. Dave Mair. Dave Jensen. Rod Loder. Peter “Harry” Butler
Tim Lucas. Adrian Smith. Tony James. Paul Boyd. Don McFarlane. Grant Drew. Mick Cummings. Ray Buck. Greg Scott. Kev Rosser. Bill Gibson. Craig Strawhorn (kneeling). Rick Jones. Dave Ruschle.
Where are they now?
Nev Williams wrote, “We are in the process of planning and designing a New RAAF Ex-appy web site and would like to include the radio apprentices as well.
Many intakes have their web site and in our design we will offer the opportunity of having those web pages "Parked" on the new Site. We see each intake having both Public and "private" Pages and the intake Webmaster having editing rights to his pages.
There are many advantages in this common Web Site in as such re-unions and meetings can be widely circulated, interesting news etc can flow and also any other information is easily spread.
In our mailing lists Radio apprentices are a bit thin on the ground and we would like to see this changed. (Talking to a friend of mine off the 10th intake he says that they have never had a re-union or gathering since leaving Ballarat.)
I have sent some information to a few Radio Intakes that I knew about, so would appreciate if you can circulate in the next issue of the Radschool Magazine.
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Davis (right) writes, “What a pleasant surprise to be surfing the net looking for links that might help me find out what happened to my old Air Force buddies and to come across the Radmechs site and then the Tele Tech’s site. In one of your magazines, I read that someone was asking after a Don (Prof.) Carter, I think he may well be the ‘Professor’ from our 3TTC. Unfortunately I cannot find any photos of 3TTC.
I am going to join your association and will try to come to the reunions. Great work - great web sites. (Thanks Rog – cheque’s in the mail – tb)
Rod Taylor writes, I have been reading the Radschool Magazine for a few years online now and have enjoyed it. it has been a bit perturbing to not see too much contribution from more 'recent' RADS attendees, about my era, so I thought the best way to fix that is do it myself. Having joined the association, I will have to scan the old photos I have to contribute to upcoming issues of the magazine. Cheers and thanks for your effort. Thanks Rod, looking forward to it – tb
Mark Fielding writes, “Its amazing what one can find on the internet. I was one of the 'orrible groups of hopeless airmen' in the photo of 50 Radio Mechs Course (below) in 1964, but unlike Bob Mathers, I couldn’t recall any of the names. It’s called old age .Nonetheless I do now recollect the names and the faces. I finished 50 Radmechs then 37 Radtechs and served for another 18 months at 2CRU in Darwin. I then battled to be accepted for pilot training and was sent to the UK on exchange with the Royal Air Force where I completed both Officers Course and pilot training gaining my wings in 1969. I returned to Australia, completed an Iroquois conversion then served in Vietnam and numerous other overseas postings and attachments. In 1983 I was posted to DSTO where I had to remember my radio training when I was Trials’ Manager for the operational effectiveness trials for Project Jindalee OTHR.
I finally retired in 1985 as Sqn Ldr. Throughout my post radio career I did not come across any of my ex-course mates which was not surprising since most of us were ground radio and not allowed to touch one of Her Majesties Aeroplanes. I have often wondered what happened to my 'orrible worthless airmen mates who did not ever know our right from our left and could not march to feed ourselves. What is more we were in the bad books for nicking a gun from outside the officers’ mess at Point Cook and placing it in front of ASCO at Laverton. If I remember correctly Hoot Gibson led the push on that 'error of judgement'.
Rob Meyer, ex Instrument Fitter at large, got in touch recently, he’s now retired and living down the bottom (read cold) end of Tassie. He recently sent us a photo (below) of his front yard – yikes…..I keep telling him “It’s not a penal colony any longer, you can leave…..”
Larry Richardson got in touch, he said: “As a retired RCAF and Canadian Forces Radar Technician 231 (Nav Aids) with CPN-4, MPN-11 and Quadradar Mark IV experience (67-95) I was surprised and then dismayed to see the fate accorded to the USAF MPN-1 employed in Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay). The PAR azimuth antenna is intact, but the top portion of the elevation could not be located. The equipment racks are still there, but no chassis could be located other than the odd power supply.
The USAF departed Frobisher sometime in the seventies and as appears to their habit, bulldozed everything deemed of no further use into a pile at the town dump.
The USAF has a CPN-4 Ser # 1 at the National Museum of the USAF at Wright-Patterson, Dayton Ohio. Are you aware of any MPN-1s or FPN-33/36 at museums?