Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 31

Page 19

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Your Say!


F-111 Model.


Daryll Macklin, who is a well-known (read: infamous) framie and EngAero, is the Manager, Amberley F111 modelOperations of the successful Rosebank Engineering organisation. Rosebank is manufacturing models of the F111 in their Melbourne plant, using computer controlled machines.


The commemorative F-111 models are designed to align with the F-111 retirement activities planned for later this year and are machined from aluminium, anodized a battle grey colour with appropriate painted areas for the radome and canopy/windshield.


They are approximately 30CM long with other dimensions proportional. The price will be $220 (incl GST) plus freight which is dependent on location and will be quoted at the time but would not be more than $20 if in Australia.


If you would like one, you must pay for the item up front.


Further details can be obtained from Daryll by emailing him HERE.




We heard from Vicki Wieringa who writes:,  I have just heard about your magazine and read in Vol 29, on page 19 that you wished to know my whereabouts. My maiden name was Vicki Sewell and I was on 136RTC graduating as a RadTech A in October 1981, (and who was unanimously voted by all the staff here at the magazine as definitely the best looking person on THAT course – tb). I was posted to 482 Squadron at Amberley and worked in the Avionics building repairing/testing F111 avionics equipment from 1981-1986. I was promoted to Corporal in March 1986 and then in January136 RTC 1987 I obtained an exchange posting to Support Command, Melbourne to be with my husband. I worked as a Logistics Assessor for the F111.


When my husband was posted to Williamtown in 1989, I opted not to sign on again and discharged after nine years in the RAAF. I was the second female through Radschool. I believe the first was Nereida Benson (not sure if I have the correct spelling of her Christian name) a few years earlier. I think she went to Edinburgh. Monica Hemmingway was the third female (141RTC). It was a terrible tragedy when she was killed on her motorcycle just before her graduation.


After my discharge, I joined the RAAF Reserve, No 26 Squadron at Williamtown (1989 – 1991). This was useful as part-time work while I looked for a permanent job. During my time in the Reserve I completed courses on Avionics Maintenance for the FA18 Hornet. I worked mainly in the Software Support section. In August 1989 I obtained full-time employment with AWA, who at that time were contracted to maintain the Hornet Commercial Test Equipment at Williamtown. I worked for AWA for 12 months then in 1991 my husband John and I were blessed with a daughter, Nicole.  After having Nicole I decided not to return to the workforce for a while so I resigned from AWA and the Reserve.


John was posted to Amberley in 1993 and I went back to work in June 1994, part-time as a tech on the base for ADI at the Base Calibration Centre. Unfortunately Nicole and day care did not work out. She kept picking up infections and I also missed being with her so I made the decision to become a full-time Mum.


After another couple of years back at Williamtown, John discharged from the RAAF after 24 years service. We returned to Queensland in 2000. I worked as a teacher’s aide in the library at my daughters’ school and John as a contractor out at Amberley.


I have just finished reading the latest issues of your magazine and think it is a great service that you are providing.


Thanks Vicki – great to hear from you and that you’re still fit and well - tb







Allan George got in touch, he says:


For those receiving a DFRB/DFRDB pension, it may be worth your effort to see if you have any pre July 1983 excess contributions - it may be worth the effort.


I have been through it and it took about 6 months for DFRDB to do it but I found I had some $3,000 excess contributions which resulted in a $4.00 tax free component to my fortnightly pension which in turn results in about a net increase of $2.00 a fortnight and a tax refund for the past 2 years of about $15.00 each year


There have been articles in the Pension Update Magazine – here is a link to one of them http://www.dfrdb.gov.au/pensionrecipient/pen_upd.html


The easiest way to do it is to fill in the form D83 and send to DFRDB and they do the leg work. The form can be found on their Web site


Good luck


 Melbourne War Memorial

Anzac Day – Melbourne


If you live in or near Melbourne and intend to march this year, (and you should), the assembly point for RAAF bods is in Swanston Street, adjacent to Little Collins. If you’re a little unsure of where that is, Alan Gibbs has sent us a mud map, you can see it HERE.





We heard from Keith Dudman who says, “Dear sir/s, I refer to your photograph of a group of girls at RAAF Frognall (1956) in Vol 30 on page 3, your December 2009 issue.


First I would like to point out that the RAAF station was spelt "Frognall" not "Frognell".


Secondly, I don't think the first girl in the photograph was Margaret Foy, she appears too tall, whereas Margaret was of a medium stature. Although the picture is rather grainy it looks nothing like her. How do Frognall girls 1956I know?? I was engaged to this lady from late February 1959 to about mid May 1959. We met when she came to Ballarat to do a Cipher course in early 1959. I still have photographs of her at that period in 1959. I used to spend the occasional weekend at Frognall after she returned there.


The fifth girl from the left looks more like Margaret Foy, but I could be wrong. Because the picture is not very clear it is hard to verify who's who.


I did have many photos of RAAF Ballarat in those halcyon days but owing to my extensive travels and to my dismay, I lost them and the negs.


After I was discharged in March 1960 I joined NCR in Sydney as an Accounting Machine Technician (in the early days of data processing) where I worked for 4 years.In 1964I went to Scotland and spent two years there with NCR. In 1966 I went to Canada and continued working for NCR for another 3 years, travelling into the U.S. to do many technical courses.


In 1969 I joined IBM and was trained on most of their "Unit Record Equipment", (punch card machines) and on a range of IBM 360 Main Frame Computers.


I came back to Australia late 1978 and was a service manager and administration manager for a computer company and somewhere in those intervening years, I have either misplaced,lost or accidently tossed them out. I do have some prints some where and if find them I will send copies of them to you.


Kind regards.


Keith Dudman

Ex RAAF Ballarat


(Thanks Keith – we’ve made the changes as you suggest, now, can anyone help us ID girl number 1 – tb)




We heard from FSGT Marco Brugnatti who is currently a serving member at 2OCU at RAAF Base Williamtown. He says, “I am now called an AVTECH but I was RADTECHA before the Technical Trades Restructure changed our identity.

 RAAF Williamtown

I was on RADTECHA Course 4/84 at Laverton. I read your magazine with interest on a regular basis.


On page 5 of Vol 30 your writer suggests that "today’s RAAF aircraft maintenance blokes are only pre/after flighters and refuellers". I can assure you that this is not the case. It is true that most deeper level maintenance has now gone over to contractor but techo's in the SQN's do far more than just flight servicing and refuels. We also do removal, inspection, installation, testing and troubleshooting on all aircraft avionics, airframe and engine systems. We do engine changes, tank entries, wiring repairs and a whole range of Armament tasks.


I am not sure who you spoke to in Townsville but I want to let you know that the majority of modern day techo's do just as much work which was done by "enthusiastic" airmen years ago.

Thanks. Marco Brugnatti


(Thanks for putting us straight Marco – it’s good to know that the job is still a challenge and that there is still a great deal of satisfaction to be had in ‘getting the job done’.




Steve Hartigan  wrote, he says:  I have received a request from a Robert Cross RCB (Rifle Company Butterworth) Committee member for information about RAAF helo operations in Butterworth during the period 1968 to 1989 which includes the CT insurgence. The information, if possible, is to include names of our chopper crews and particularly if they were involved in a hostile environment.

 9 Sqn chopper

Robert said in his note to me:  The nature of my enquiry is about RAAF Choppers being based at Air Base Butterworth or Singapore, what years, purpose etc did they ever assist downed RMAF aircraft by local CT's? We know A2-506 and A2-509 were there in 1981, and may have assisted in a downed by local CT's RMAF Chopper?


This information is in order to support a claim for active service by the Army to the new Labor defence and Honours Committee. The full (predominantly Army) submission is available under member downloads however you have to be a current member to access it. If anyone has any information would they please email it direct to Robert Cross or you can contact him on 07-3352 4612.




Bob McInnes wrote, he says, Caloundra RSL Sub-Branch has been working to get A2-1022 aircraft back and display it more appropriately. It now seems that we have a replacement aircraft available. This aircraft recently had a sudden stoppage, but our people are confident it's repairable and could be displayed in place of 1022. We expect to have it by the end of the March and work will commence then.


RAAF Iroquis

SO!!!, if any members of the 9 Squadron Association would like to help us do an E service on this aircraft, we would appreciate your technical help, on a volunteer basis of course, as we don’t have any money with which to pay you. We’re especially keen to get some former aircraft metal workers, painters and airframe fitters.


This project will be carried out on the Sunshine Coast so persons living in this area would be able to visit the job site easily..........However, that is not meant to exclude anyone who wants to be a part of the project. We're not about to refuse good help. If you can help, or want any further info, my phone no's are 07 5491 2691, 0411 292 546.





We heard from Jake Romijn (ex 9RMT), he says:  “In the photos on page 3 of vol 30 my wife recognised Julia 5A Coursein the course 5A photo. My wife worked with Julia (front left) in Canberra (at the time Julia was a Clerk G) and said that Julia always wore a wig. Also her surname is Grzchowiczk (not sure if that is the correct spelling).


At the time my wife was a Clerk A by the name of Marie Julliarat. (nee Wood).  Also, in the 61 Rad Famil course Vincino's name is Ray and he is the older brother of George. Last time I saw Ray was on the Telstra JORN Project (Did that ever get off the ground?? – tb) when Ray was working for Telstar Systems in Melbourne about 1993.


Hope this helps.. 


(Thanks Steve – tb)




John Laming wrote to say he was most interested in Bill Dixon's memoirs in the latest issue of the newsletter. He flew with Bill on many occasions at 34 Squadron on Dakotas.




We heard from Simon Burns. Simon had lost his training records from Radschool Laverton and was wondering where one might go to get copies of them. He said he had tried RAAF Archives which he says directs you to their site www.naa.gov.au but he said that site is for people whose service must be at least 30 yrs expired. He says he’s having no luck elsewhere and wondered if we could help. He said that Defence Archives suggested that he write to:


Airforce Career Management Branch

Defence Personell Executive,

Dept of Defence  Canberra  2600


and wondered if we had any names and/or contact numbers there.


Well, we didn’t, so we flicked the problem over to Allan George who once again came up with the goods. SO!!!   If you’re in the same boat as Simon and want to get copies of your records, go to:  http://www.raaf.gov.au/contactus/servicerecords.aspx




Jim Lander wrote, “Hi. It seems there is still plenty of interest in the Radschool maintenance flight (1986) photo I sent in some time ago.


The lady far right, front row, is Sgt Margaret Hemsworth and she was NCO I/C the library. Also, middle row second from right, is Cpl Ian Gartner”




John Mackesy wrote:  Although the Caribou no longer grumbles through our skies, its avionics live on for a couple of ex-service collectors/amateur radio operators. There's a Collins AN/ARC-73 VHF nav/com box (operational), a Collins 618T (operational), an ARC AN/ARN59 and an AN/ARC-51BX (work in progress). There's also ex-Herc and Neptune equipment, all operational.


One of us is an ex-RAAF Radschool graduate and (Viet Nam-era) Caribou man, the other ex-RCAF/CAF. We can write about the equipment and supply pictures, if you're interested. Rgds, John Mackesy VK3XAO (ex-RCAF)


Sure John, love to hear from you – especially on how you got that 618T to work, and you forgot to say who else is in your group and from where you operate …..tb

 Kev Rosser



Norv Simpson wrote:  Howdy, browsing old issues I came across Kev Rosser's article on Sale in Volume 25, Page 11. I was a Sgt in the workshop at the time 69-72. Guess he wouldn't remember me as I was a Tels Tech and the first Groundie in the Airie's workshop. I racked up heaps of flying hours trying to sort out the HF AFSK system on the HS748 trainers. Lovely work environment they were. Caused a big stir when I got F.Sgt HDA when Peter Meneer was on leave.




Al “Stevo” Stevenson, who was on 70 Teleg and lived in the very English and picturesque small town of WestburyWestbury, which is about 35 klms west of Launceston, in Tassie, moved back to Scotland recently. He says shortly after he arrived back in the UK, he had a medical problem which put him out of action for a while, then he got snowed in and lost all power. (But it’s great to be back - tb???) He says the main reason he moved back to the UK was because his wife wanted to go back (isn't that the normal excuse). He says we were both born in Scotland however when the wife’s mother died a year or so ago that was the last of her rellie's living in Oz and she wanted to be near her remaining ones in Scotland.


Apart from the socialist government here controlling everything it is not too bad. When I left here in 1962 I hated the cold and everything but now days you just don't seem to feel the cold as everything is central heated and double glazed. Even when you go to the shops you have to peel off layers as the thermostat is turned up to max.



The follies which a man regrets most in his life

are those he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.


Caribou flight deck

Stew Bonett writes, he says, a group of ex 38SQN blokes have a Caribou (A4-173) at the Caloundra Air Museum and are trying to restore it to the exact specs of the format of those 35Sqn had in Vietnam and they need some assistance.


What they need are some photos of the flight deck of the Caribou as it was back in the late 60’s, early 70’s before all the electronic stuff started to creep in. If there is anyone with any photos of the flight deck and/or insides of the Caribou, would they please forward copies to David East via email.


(We had this photo, at right, but we’re unsure of the vintage. – tb)




Mike Gaham, who was at Radschool in 1971/72, recently wrote to the Air Force News and sent us a copy, he says: “Since my retirement from the RAAF in 1993 I have maintained a subscription to RAAF News and its successor. This has enabled me to keep track of personalities and events in my employer of 23 years. I’ve seen friends who were “boggy” pilots rise to command and two of them take the Chief’s job. I’ve been able to follow equipment and policy changes, some lamentable but mainly for the good. Looking through the March 4RAAF Canoeists edition I took a rare foray to the sports pages.


To my surprise one of the pictures (right) was a “blast from the past”. There was the original RAAF Canoe team with a 19 year old AC Gahan in the front of canoe three with LAC Carpenter, both RADS EDASSTs. I remember the lead team of FLGOFF Don Brooks (RADS ADMINO) and SQNLDR Ross Clelland (Base CATO).


Arthur Skimmin (HQSC) is in one of the other canoes but the other three names escape me with the passage of time. The picture originally appeared in the “Age”.


Its reappearance brought back fond memories of the comradeship of the 1971 team and our strong support from the ground party during the race, we did it in fine style with cooks, PTI’s, General Hands and even a RAAFPol – and not so fond memories of the cold mornings training on the Yarra and the Murray heat and flies during the race. It is pleasing to see RAAF teams still involved in the Murray marathon”.




We heard from Terry Blake, he writes, “Howdy, I was passed the info on the site by Kerry Allen. Enjoyed reading the different stories which certainly brought back many memories. I was at Radschool in 1967 on 11 RMT. How do we contribute stories or photos??”


Easy Terry – just email them into us – and why not join the association, it’s free and you can do so HERE - tb




Grand Hotel, HughendenKev Rosser says he’s still stuck out in the wilds of Western QLD, Hughenden specifically, and anxiously awaiting a Dry Season. It seems to want to keep raining this year. Care of the ex cyclone in the Gulf, it rained all of the Easter break and absolutely persisted down at daybreak yesterday (Tues 6 Apr 2010). Probably more than 200mm.


The nett result is "do not go off the bitumin" This is black soil country!


What are you doing out there Kev?? – has to be a story and a few pics in it for sure - tb




Pat Seymour wrote, he says, “Howdy, It was suggested that I contact your organisation by an RSL advocate who thought you might be able to help. I am chasing the weights of some RAAF comms and ATC equipment. I am chasing the weights of component drawers of QUAD Radar, AF/GRT 805 UHF Tx’s, Equipment racks used for mounting equipment in ATC Tower Radio rooms, communication stations and air transportable ATC control and comms systems, ATC multi track tape recorders etc for weight lifting purposes. If you can help it would be appreciated.”


Can anyone help, if so, get back to us and we’ll pass on the info to Pat – tb


I have kleptomania but when it gets really bad,
I take something for it.



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