Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 34

Page 10

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Geoff Collins

Pilot Officer Geoff Collins.



Jenny Rawlings, who before she was married was Jenny Collins, saw the story on her father, Geoffrey Anthony Collins, (right) that we had in Vol 24, Page 8.


Jenny had some additional material that she would like us to publish and we’re only too happy to oblige.

 Norm Smith

Geoff was born on the 10 August 1926 in Kew, a suburb of Melbourne and played football with the Melbourne football club (The Demons). In 1948, he was promoted to the “firsts” and that year the Demons took the flag. He had ‘enlisted’ into the RAAF and in December 1952, at the ripe old age of 26, he was posted to Korea and went on to fly the Gloster Meteor with 77 Squadron and eventually caught the freedom-bird home in August 1953.


Ron Barassi

On his return to Oz in 1954, he was made captain of the Demons and played under the legendary coach, Norm Smith (left) and alongside another legend of the game, Ron Barassi (right). In total, he played 88 games for Melbourne in years 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, and was captain in the losing 1954 Grand Final side.


He is mentioned in Melbourne FC’s top 150 players.



Jack McCarthy beside the 'wounded" Meteor


Jack McCarthy standing in front of Geoff’s aircraft, A77-207, which suffered severe flack damage. The aircraft performed reasonably well on one engine.


Geoff Collins beside his aircraft


Geoff standing in front of his aircraft - with the Melbourne Football Club’s demon mascot at pride of place.

(Now if that Demon had been a Tiger we could understand it….tb)


Two Meteors



Two aircraft taking off on a rocket strike. It was customary to take off in pairs.



Meteor armed, ready for flight



207 with a load of 8 armour piercing rockets and 4 cannons in the nose.



Typical tarmac scene



The tarmac area at Kimpo, after a strike as aircraft return to base and taxi to their revetments.



Crews of the last operational flight


These blokes were the pilots who flew the last mission with 77 Sqn in Korea.

Geoff is on the left, unfortunately, as yet we don’t have any other names.


Farewell flight over Korea


Portion of the squadron fly past over Seoul to commemorate

the cessation of hostilities (July 1953). Geoff was leading the second flight.



The photo above is of Jenny when she was on Miajima Island while visiting Japan in 2008.

In the far background is Iwakuni where 77 Squadron went for R&R.



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