Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 26

Page 7

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CPN-4.  Ken Hunt.


After reading thru a lot of RAMs I am a little confused.  The photos associated with the CPN-4 consist of 2 trailers and I haven’t seen anything that suggests there was one based at Ballarat.


Back in ‘good old 55' the radar unit at Ballarat had (from a rusty memory) only 1 trailer but was always attached to a Mack truck which had the power unit on its back.


My understanding was that at that time there were only two other similar types in Australia, one in Darwin and another in East Sale??


Was the Ballarat unit an earlier type?  Does anyone know anything about the Ballarat unit because I’m sure it was different to the units shown in your photos.


Incidentally I was told that the seat of the Mack truck was comfortable enough to sleep on during night time guard duty.  By the time I got to try it THEY locked the truck up every night. There is another story here but for another day.



More thoughts on Nashos in 1955.


Over the past weeks I have thought that, although the Nashos were treated a little differently to both the apprentices and permanents at Ballarat, we all had somewhat similar experiences the only difference being Nashos only had 154 days not 20 years in the Service.  Reading some of the other articles about the RAAF at Ballarat brought back many memories, so I thank those writers for jogging my memory, but, like many, I think it was a better RAAF back then – it’s different today.


Stoking the boilers, bludging on guard duty, looking for gold nuggets on the bull ring, pulling the local chicks, ah!  We felt that we were different but after reading of other’s experiences, it seems were weren’t that much different after all.


Others have spoken about how only a few planes were ever on the base.  I recall that one of the hangers housed a very simple Link (?) trainer and another housed an old Mosquito.  A regular visitor was a DC3 from East Sale.  It came over to provide some practical training for the GCA operators.  As we (the Nashos) had not yet been flying they split us up into two groups.  Each group then did circuits and bumps around the district. 


On our trip the pilot was a Sgt but the co-pilot was a Groupie.  He was upping his hours and was the highest rank that we had ever seen.  Of course one of the boys became air sick, used the loo, but didn’t tell anyone.  Three days later there was a major investigation, as you could imagine.  I think that the DC3 was fitted out as a training plane for Radio Ops, about 8 places.


One Sunday morning a Mustang arrived, no one seemed to be aware that it was coming.  It collected some spares and left again headed for Richmond (so the rumour said).  On a Saturday afternoon an old privately owned Tiger Moth landed.  There were strong headwinds and the rumour was he didn’t have enough fuel to make Moorabbin; he waited a couple of hours and when things quietened down a bit he left.  I say rumour because I am sure that Ballarat in 1955 was not capable of refuelling Tigers.  Ballarat was big on rumours.


As I have said before, a few of us chipped in and we purchased a Model A Ford for $180 (equiv) so now we had the ability to get about.  One major problem we still had though, we had very little leave, so we left the car outside the fence on the Clunes road and went ‘over the fence’ when required.  Then it hit us that all the Main Gate guards were either other Nashos or Apprentices.  So we then parked ‘under the pines’ and came and went as we pleased. 


We had two incidents re AWOL.  Nothing serious, we just had to reassure Sgt Hyam that we would not do it again (until next Friday when we took him and Mrs Hyam into town).  The CO, Sqn/Ldr Webster, spoke to me in passing the day after we were a day late back from Easter leave.  No action and he finished by saying ‘How did the car go on the way to Adelaide’.  He was a ‘civvy in uniform’ so was probably not interested in any further action.


Every 18-19 year old’s hobby was ‘pulling chicks’.  Lenny Cusack, he still owes me for a half share in the old Ford, got a bright idea.  He rang the Ballarat Base Hospital.  “Ballarat Base”…“Good evening, second floor of the Nurses Home please”…” Hello”….” Could I speak to Pat (a very common young ladies’ name in 1955”…”Sorry, which Pat do you want”…”Doesn’t matter, what’s your name?”…  The following evening three of us took three nice young nurses to the movies in Lydiard Street.  It went on from there. 


The Botanical Gardens, the Eureka Stockade Park and Black Mountain were some of the good spots for anatomy education and weren’t the nurses keen for some practical experience.  I got the fright of my life with one lass, “Can you get time off over Easter, we could go to Shepparton and meet Mum and Dad”?  End of romance!!!  Of course other romances soon followed.  But it did come home to roost.  Later in 1961, shortly after I was married (not to any of the nurses) a friend of mine introduced my wife and I to his new wife.  She had been a trainee nurse in Ballarat in 1955. Oops.


Our night escapades almost always included trainee nurses, (Johnny Mat - does this bring back any memories??) and they were treated worse than we were.  In spite of the ‘home sister’ manning the front door to the Nurses Home all night we were able to find our way back to the second floor via building works in the main hospital, ladders and all.


After our tour at Ballarat was finished, we were sent to Point Cook to “pass out” and then we drove the old A model back home to Sydney. That's me (left) at Point Cook - saying good bye to the RAAF.


I look forward to the magazine, keep the reminders coming.  Thanks,   Ken Hunt.


1965 Appy Hockey team.

From L-R:  Trevor Connell, Martin (Rolf) Roelfsema, Ric Toholka, Errol Johnson, Julian de Ross,

Pete Cooper, Gary Learhinan, Allan George, Storky Vanderlinden, Greg Jackson, Peter Gilvarry


The blokes underlined are from 18 Appy, the rest from 19 Appy. This team of Kookaburra hopefuls played in the Melbourne north fixtures. Matches were played at Laverton, Greensborough, Heidelberg, Melbourne Uni and at Essendon and were always a good day out for a young Appy.



Beauty is only a light switch away.

Ain't that the truth Nerk??




1965 Appy 7 a-side Union team.



Police warn all male clubbers, party-goers and unsuspecting public house regulars to be more alert and cautious when getting a drink offer from a girl. There is a drug called "beer", that is available essentially in liquid form.


The drug is now being used by female sexual predators at parties to convince their male victims to have sex with them. The shocking statistic is that beer is available virtually anywhere! All girls have to do is buy a beer or two for almost any guy and simply ask the guy home for no-strings attached sex. Men are literally rendered helpless against such attacks.


However, if you fall victim to this insidious drug and the predatory creatures administering them, there are male support groups with venues in every suburb where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter in an open and frank manner with a bunch of similarly affected like minded guys. For the nearest venue near you just look up "Hotels" in the yellow pages.


Be careful out there guys.......


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