Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 25

Page 19

   Privacy Policy    |    Editorial Policy    |    Join the Association     |    List of Members    |    Contact us    |    Print this page


Your Say!



Bevan Greenwood wrote, “I found the recent article by Frank Alley very interesting indeed! Having been a "framey" at ARDU from 1967 to 1970 (then posted all the way over to Point Cook) I found Frank`s experiences and associations with ARDU staff" very similar to my own! I was reminded rather fondly of my service associations with the likes of Flt Lt Sharpley, "Flash Blair, "Big Bad" Bill Fewster (a through gentleman) and Jeff Trappett, (an all round good guy!) just to name a few involved in routine flying duties and Tacan trips!


I have attached a photo taken at Charleville as we were over-nighting on a Tacan trip to Townsville in 1968. I knew the names of the crew way back then, but now at the age of 70 my RAM is starting to fail me, however the names I can remember at this time are: Bill Fewster, "Flash" Blair, "Doc" Mason (RTA), Barry Ellsworth (Sumpie), (myself extreme right standing)


(We can help you out a bit Bevan, Frank Alley was able to provide a few names:-)


Standing L to R:  (????) (Sqn Ldr Lynch Radio Officer) (Bill Fewster) (Flash Blair) (..?..) (Doc Mason-RadTech) (Bevan Greenwood-Framey)

Squatting L to R:  ( Flt Lt John Hartley) (W/O Paddy O’Brien) (Bob Dey, Radio Officer) (?..RadTech) (Barry Ellsworth -Sumpie)


We went on that particular TACAN "jolly" for supposedly a week, however due to the commonplace problem of "goonie" aircraft "battery boiling", we ended up spending 3 weeks at Townsville enduring the "privations etc" that were most enjoyable for those of us for whom Townsville was an old stomping ground and giving us the opportunity to catch up with "lost opportunities"! Although I was only at ARDU for a short time, I retain some very fond memories of the comradeship of the "staff" and I will always view that period of my service of 21 years as one of the best! I view your "Newsletter" intently from start to finish and find names of “Queer Trades" cropping up that I now can relate to and who I had long since forgotten about!....It is strange how as we age we seem to remember the “ships that pass in the night!" I was very saddened to read about the demise of Gil Moore (who was our "Gun jet pilot at ARDU during the 60`s) ....Gil was another thorough gentleman who was never (to my knowledge) guilty of boasting about his past exploits! Keep up the good work, Regards, Bevan, ("Framie "- 56 to 77).


Frank Alley adds, “Paddy O'Brien was a Warrant Officer and a terrific bloke. I really liked him. He was very patient with a young in-experienced AC in the place”.


I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing.

If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn't have signed up in the first place!



Greg Smith got in touch, he says “


My partner and I own a small hotel in Phnom Penh www.manorhousecambodia.com and are about to open another one in Siem Reap near the Angkor Temples


This is a wonderfully crazy place which is a lot more relaxing than living in Oz. You should come and visit us some time.”



Phil Baldock got in touch, he says” It’s a while since I scratched a line so I better fill in some info. I am still kicking and hanging in the DMO work force, each time I crack a sad one I race out and spend a quid on the house or some other equally bad idea so I have a reason to keep working.


Survived two skiing trips this year (single mode of course, she sits on her b*m) to Canada and Vic with no accidents and no heart attacks. This caper is a bit of a bus for a reserved (pref a decent Port) old fa**t.


A bunch of the ex 60-70 era Lavertonians from the Photog world/the rest of us hangers on are holding a re-union gig in Adelaide next Anzac weekend 2009, I will dig up the email contact info and shuffle it off to you.


20 Radio Apprentice Course is looking to get together maybe in 2009, Kris Kowalczyk and I are trying to catch up with the MIA members, currently located and in contact with 41 of the 45 serving members.


Need to put out a call for the four MIA members. As I know a swag of our members and they know me please publish my email info for contact along with the call to arms. The guys I need to get hold of are:


Mr Robert (Bob) James Bissett A44882 (Air)

Mr Keith A Rogers A113276 (lost to us early)

Mr Walter (Wal) H Williams A113120 (Gnd)

Mr Philip Witty A113120 (Gnd)


There were a number of 'Nasho' intakes at Ballarat along with the Apprentices and of course Ground and Air Techs. This was the time between the Korean and Vietnam wars. GCA was the 'big deal' then. At Ballarat, due to the lack of planes, it was mostly used for counting the moving carriages on the railway line.


In the almost six months that I was there a DC3 was flown from East Sale for a week twice. Two other 'lost' civvie planes arrived unannounced.


It brings back a lot of my memories, although since 1955 I have only come across 1 of our flight (and course) and two others that were there in 1954 (the Queens visit).


Should you be interested in a little more of my recollections I would be only too glad to provide. Thank you for the interesting afternoon reminiscing,


Phil – love to hear some more of your recollections, go for it – tb


A bloke bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it out on his nature strip and hung a sign on it saying: 'Free - You want it, you take it.' For three days the fridge sat there without any-one even looking at it. So he changed the sign to read: 'Fridge for sale $50.' The next day someone nicked it.


Caution... They Walk Among Us!


Katie Booth got in touch, she said “Hello, I was researching my uncle and came across the following page http://www.austradesecure.com/radschool/Vol24/Page9.htm

I don't know when this was published, but there is an error in the part discussing the testing of the Mirage A3-1 by Sqn Leader Tony Svensson. That particular part of the text says at the end that Tony was eventually killed flying helicopters. This is incorrect. He is still alive! Living in Devon, England and is my uncle.

Not sure what you can do with this information, but just felt uncomfortable seeing someone had written he had died, when he hadn't.

Many thanks, Katie


We’ve been in touch with Katie, apologised for the error and have amended the article in question. We asked how Tony was and Katie told us:


Sadly a couple of years ago, Tony succumbed to Alzheimer’s (potentially as a result of the head injuries he received in the crash) and now lives in a specialist care home close to his wife and brother-in-law (my father Rod Wark) in Devon. I will let my dad know all this, and forward him this email so that he can perhaps be in touch with you guys.

Thanks again and best wishes for the future. Katie.


(Good luck Katie, say howdy to your dad and please pass on our best wishes to your uncle - tb)



Ken Hunt got in touch – he says: G’day, all this Ballarat talk has reminded me...


We were on a way back for a holiday, flying Proserpine to Brisbane on BA146, before 9 -11 of course. I asked the hostie "any chance of getting onto the flight deck, I'm ex Air Force" "I will ask the Captain" she says. Sure enough as soon as lunch was cleared away, she came back "the skipper said it's OK, but I must warn you they are both ex Navy"


After chatting for a while, the co-pilot asked "where did you serve". I explained "that I was only a Nasho and that I had spent most of my time at Ballarat". He exploded "bullshit, I grew up in Ballarat and the RAAF were not there".


We then compared dates and the YOUNG co-pilot agreed that I was in the RAAF in Ballarat in 1955 and that the Base was closed several years later and he was born after that.


Time flies doesn't it.


It certainly do that Ken, it certainly do!!  unfortunately - and I wonder what happened to all those BAe-146 aircraft, one minute they were everywhere, and the next not one to be seen...Tb


While waiting for my pizza at a Pizza place I observed a man being served. The pizza man asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6. He thought about it for a couple of minutes before saying. 'Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 pieces’.


Yep, They Walk Among Us.


Pygmy McAndrew wrote from the UK, He says, “We came over originally for 2 years, 8 years ago. However, I resigned from work (Alstom Transport Service) at the start of the month. We have finally decided we would like to be back home with our families, so, at the moment, we are busy packing and trying to get removalists organised and sort out our trip home and hope to be back in Oz at the end of February 2009. Then I’ll be looking for a house and a job.


I have a lot of photos from the RAAF days but they are all back in Oz. Once we get settled I’ll send in a few.”


Thanks Pete – look forward to it – tb




Noel Hadfield says The RAAF Engineers Officers Association will hold its Annual Reunion on Thursday 6 November 2008. This year, the function will be a luncheon, in the Collins Room at Batman’s Hill on Collins Hotel, 623 Collins Street, Melbourne. Assembly will be at 12.00 noon for lunch at 12.30 PM. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be served on our arrival. Dress will be jacket and tie and our MC will be Rick Toholka. Cost per head will be $40.00.


The venue is located at the corner of Collins and Spencer Streets and is readily accessible by tram along Collins Street or Spencer Street; and by train at Southern Cross Station. Car parking is available nearby in Flinders lane and adjoining Direct Factory Outlets in Spencer Street at the end of Lonsdale Street.


Please let me know ASAP if you wish to attend to ensure your seat at the function. Payment is required not later than 30 October 2008. Please note that we are committed to pay in advance on confirmed numbers and so refunds will NOT be possible once the deadline passes.


We look forward to seeing you at the luncheon.




Greg Black, ex 18RMT, says, “Thanks for a great magazine, keep up the good work, it is always a pleasure to read and see what memories it can resurrect.”


Bruce Jones, who as a Clerk Admin, did a couple of stints at Laverton. He was at 1AD from Nov65 to Jul67, BSLAV from Sep68 to Jan69, HQSC (TELENG) from Dec73 to Jun74 and was also in the O/R at Radschool at Laverton. He wrote, “Having just returned from the 'Blackhander's Reunion’ at Amberley last Saturday - 11Oct 2008, I was struck with the nostalgia bug and decided to surf and find out about any other groups that I might fit into, and found the Radschool site”


Bruce says, “One of many interesting things I saw while at Radschool was the time Jumbo (FlgOff) Jordan took the salute on the CO's parade. I was posted to Radschool in Jan 1977 and from there to 35 Sqn in Jan 1978, so this happened around October 1977


Jumbo Jordan, who at the time was a boggie Radio eng, used to visit FSgt Spike Spykstra's office (Spike was the O/room senior NCO) very regularly and after each visit he left something out of place, it may have been a stapler left in the middle of the desk or the pen tray upended, date pad changed etc, etc.


Now, as anyone who worked with Spike knew, he was a very patient man, but, he decided that enough was enough. He decided that the Orderly Room should do a little overtime one Tuesday morning (around 6.30am or 7.00am). The team included Spike, Jon Herriot, Dave Thompson (CLKA), Ron Brown, myself and others. Under Spike's direction we moved EVERYTHING from Jumbo's office and placed it on the parade ground in much the same position it was in his office. Pictures off the wall were placed in the relative position on the ground etc but the main feature was his desk and chair. I am not quite sure who Spike had 'worded up' but am assuming that the CO was aware of the situation and not many others.


After the parade was formed up and the pleasantries were done, the CO (I think it was Fred Wrigley) asked Jumbo to take up his position. Jumbo was not sure where 'his position' was but was advised to sit at his desk for the duration of the parade. At the conclusion of the parade Jumbo was instructed to take up his position on top of the desk and take the salute as we marched past.

I am pretty sure that from that point on Jumbo always addressed Spike from the office doorway and never adjusted anything on Spike's desk again.”


Bruce says “I am sure that there were many photo's taken that morning and I would love to see some of them reproduced if anyone has copies”.


SO!! If you’ve got any, please send them in to us. 



Did you know that a gold fish can only remember what it has done for the past 6 seconds?



We heard from Fred “Lofty” Grigg. He said, I joined the RAAF in 1961 to be a Radio Tech but was really only following in my Dad's footsteps. My dad, along with my Mum and I (2yrs old), were in Ballarat in 1942 – we moved there while he was trained as a Teleg. We then moved to Evan's Head where he spent time training with WAGS & BAGS (Wireless Air Gunners and Bombing and Gunnery School). From there he was posted back to Melbourne. His next posting was Townsville and on to Milne Bay, Goodenough Island and Dobadura – from where he was repatriated back to Sydney (where we came from) to spend almost 2yrs in hospital before being discharged. He lived to be 85!


I enlisted as a Trainee Category 1 or something, but Radschool was right in the middle of moving to Laverton from Ballarat and there were no classes running so they had us in Pool, working on setting things up. I was told they needed 12 blokes to start a course as they reckoned from the 12 at least 8 would graduate and at the moment I was one of only two blokes waiting for the course to start. They also had no idea how long before they got the numbers! When RAD Pool ran out of things to do, we all became BASQN Pool members. I went first to the Ration Store (where I put on weight and beat everyone at darts!) and then to BASQN Equip where I took to it like a duck takes to water! Played lots of volley ball and was talked into re-mustering to Clerk Equip (which was Group 7 pay!). Out of the blue one day in November, with just 3¼ hrs notice, I had to get cleared and be on the East Coast Courier Herc as I was posted to 2SD and was to start a 3 month course at Wagga in January! I didn't even have time say goodbye to a soul - to my hut mates, I must have simply disappeared!


I finished my course and was posted back to 2SD. In 63 I was detached to Ubon, then it was back to 2SD and then posted to HQSUPCOM from JAN 64 to NOV 65 (This was the computerised take up of Stores Stock to NATO number system). In Nov 65, I was posted to 2AD at Richmond as NCO i/c Tool Store and Purchasing; then up the road to AMTDU and Air Mvts then did a Loadmaster Course with 36SQN on the A model Hercs.


I was discharged towards the end of 1968.


Back     Go to page:  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19