Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 31

Page 20

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       News and Reunions! 




WRAAF Reunion.


Rosemary Coleman is the Secretary of the Brisbane Branch of the WRAAF Association which is part of the RAAF Association Queensland Division. She says:


“The WRAAF Branch Brisbane is hosting the 2011 National WRAAF Reunion to be held in Brisbane from 28 to 30 January 2011 at the Mercure Hotel, North Quay, Brisbane. This reunion will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the formation of the WRAAF.


Bearing in mind that a lot of WRAAF's married RAAF guys, I was wondering if you could send an email out to your members about our reunion as we are trying to advertise it as widely as possible throughout Australia.


The Reunion is for all ex WRAAF who served between 1951 and 1977, ex RAAF servicewomen, current serving RAAF servicewomen and ex WAAAF members. You can get further info from here http://www.wraaf.org.au or you can call Dianne on 07 3202 7625, Rosemary on 07 3879 4889 or Rosie on 07 3889 3728.”


You can download the registration form from HERE.




Ted Mac got in touch, he said we had the wrong pic above depicting our lady members, he says he prefers THIS ONE.


You've got to agree with old Ted, when he's right, he's damn right!!!



Djinnang reunion.


The Djinnang Association will hold a “monster” reunion on Saturday May 29th at the Public Service Club, Stevens Lane (off George St) in Brisbane City. Doors open at 2-00pm and close again at 9.00pm, plenty of time to tell a huge bunch of lies. Entry is only $10 — and there is an evening meal at member’s rates available on-site. If you intend going and you haven’t informed the committee yet, please do so HERE.

 Djinnang Logo

There will be a  “This is your Service Life” presentation of one of our early members following the AGM.


For those who live out of town, affordable accommodation within easy walking distance can be found at:


Chiffley on George (over the road);

Lennons in Queen St Mall

Sebel Apartments. 5—10 min walk

Hotel Ibis

Explorer’s Inn

Royal on the Park

Hotel George William (YMCA)

Oakes North Quay


If you are driving to Brisbane, make sure that the hotel has a car-park, some don’t.


Bargains can be found on www.wotif.com or www.lastminute.com.  Be there, or you’ll need a chit…




Fast Caravan - 75 Sqn.

 Stix Chambers


On 16th May, 2009 about 35 ex-members of 75 Squadron gathered at the Mayfield (Newcastle) RSL Club to commemorate the 42nd   anniversary of Operation “Fast Caravan”.


“Fast Caravan” was the deployment of 75 Sqn from Williamtown, NSW to Butterworth, Malaysia in May 1967.  Twenty-three Mirage aircraft were involved as were Canberras from Amberley and Neptunes from Townsville.  These provided weather communications and navigational back up en route for the single seat Mirage aircraft which were lacking in long range navigational and communications equipment.  Three Hercules were also used to ferry staging crews and equipment.


75 Sqn, 1967

Members of 75 Squadron before departure. 


Some word descriptions:


Coffee,  n. The person upon whom one coughs.


The advance party kicked off the operation with members and families flying direct to Butterworth on chartered Brittania aircraft.


A day before the aircraft departed Willytown, two staging crews set off, one to Darwin and the other to Townsville.  Yours truly was in the crew that went to Townsville to see in, refuel and see off the squadron on its way to Darwin and then follow on.  Several days were spent in Darwin checking over our charges before we were on our way again with 21 Mirages, two spares being left to return to Williamtown.  The Townsville--Darwin sector was pretty ho-hum as all of us had been there and done that before – even had the T-shirt.


75 Sqn Mirages, 1967

23 Mirages on tarmac at Williamtown, a day before the deployment.


But the next section involved the staging crew flying to Djuanda in Indonesia.  Djuanda is near Surabaya and in those days was pretty run down.  The Indonesian Air Force had several MIGs there which they tried to fly (for our benefit) without success.  Just about everything that we required for staging the 21 aircraft we needed to provide ourselves.  This involved several Hercules.  We even required our own fuel pumps to filter the local Avtur to our requirement.  The Indonesian prime mover and tanker was a sight not to be missed.  It was heard and seen some distance off by the roar of its enormous engine and the billowing clouds of exhaust smoke.


The refuelling didn’t go without incident as mid-way through the operation the main fuel hose from the Indonesian tanker into our pumper burst and sprayed Avtur everywhere.


Our departure to Butterworth was held up for about an hour for an inspection by the chief of the Indonesian Air Force who arrived dramatically in a twin engined WW2 bomber.  He was straight out of a Paul Rigby cartoon characterisation of a yank pilot complete with firearm in pouch strapped to his leg.


75 Sqn Radtechs, 1967

L-R:  Phil  Holden,  Bob Saxton, Stix Chambers,  Graham Morris,  Max McKay (all Radtechs)



Abdicate,  v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.



Our aircraft created quite an impression as they were all sparkling with fresh paint and polished radomes.  They arrived and were dispatched for Butterworth without incident with one notable exception.  The canopy on one aircraft which couldn’t be locked down by the pilot at the end of the runway required outside assistance from a large sergeant framey who cycled to the runway end and leapt aboard the Mirage to sit on the canopy and lock it from the outside.


We followed the Mirages to arrive late evening at Butterworth only to find that the mess’s evening meals were finished and no provision had been made for our late arrival.  There was animosity at Butterworth toward the newcomers, created no doubt by some members of the advance party who had planted images of Big Jim’s Flying Circus as FEAF’s first mach2 Fighter Squadron. 


Big Jim being our name for our popular CO, Wing Commander Jim Flemming.


The girls from 75 Sqn

The ladies who accompanied us to a life in Malaysia,

L-R:  Sandy McKay, Margaret Morris, Sue Holden, Kel Chambers


75 Sqn bods

Some of the 75 Sqn bods at the reunion

L-R:  Jim Robertson, Wally Jolley, Eddie Owen, Dallas Priester, Les Rush,

Hal Webber, Des McGrory, Keg Glendenning





Interasia mast head


Dan Nebauer, (SQNLDR Retired – ex ENGAERO) is a director of Travel Agency Interasia. Interasia specialises in travel into destinations such as China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo, Burma, Nepal, Bhutan, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.


He says that all ex service members would be offered attractive discounts over their retail prices so next time you’re considering a trip overseas, give them a try – we think you will be pleasantly surprised.


Go to www.interasia.com.au and check them out, recently they were awarded the prestigious award of “Best international wholesaler” by the AFTA.


They are situated in Melbourne at:


InterAsia Tours & InterGlobal Tours

4/33-37 Heatherdale Road

Ringwood VIC 3134 Australia

Tel: 61 3 9873 7466 Fax: 61 3 9873 8470


But you can book from anywhere in Oz – just give them a ring or email Dan on dan@interasia.com.au


Interasia is a trading name of L&D Corporate Pty Ltd. 

Lic No 32527 ABN 83 106 792 590 AR 270085



Esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.




RAAF Ballarat reunion.



A reunion is proposed for 2011 NOT 2010 as previously advised. So if you are planning to be alive in 2011, and are interested in a FINAL reunion please respond so we can get an idea of how many are interested. By doing so you are NOT committing yourself to attending. We know from last time that disaster can strike at any time.

RAAF Ballarat reunion, 2008

We will canvas activities you may be interested in later. Just getting there may be activity enough. Please advise changes of email, change of postal address etc. We know 2 years is a long time in network affairs and I had a lot of bouncing emails last time.


If we can get the numbers like we got in 2008 (right) we will be very happy. I haven't contacted any of the snail mail members as yet, so if you know anyone who might be interested please let them know.


Email is radschl.reunion@gmail.com


Doreen's email is


and her phone is 02 9560 8486.

My phone 0416 099 464


Phillip Marsh


RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre.


Air Com Sawade

Back on the 23rd February, 2010, Caribou A4-236 was officially handed over to the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre at a ceremony held on the base and attended by 30-40 people. The OC of Amberley, Air Commodore Sawade (right) accepted the aircraft on behalf of the Centre.


Past members of both 35 Squadron and 38 Squadron lined up for a photo which was taken by the RAAF photographers.


Click on the photo below for a bigger look at it. You'll probably recognise yours truly, but all the other buggers have got old.......



35 Sqn blokes at Amberley


Flatulence ,  n. An emergency vehicle that picks up someone

who has been run over by a steamroller.



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