Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 36

Page 19

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Your say



Your Say!


We heard from Michael Kilpatrick who said: “My grandfather, Edgar Witts, was in the RAAF for over 20 years. His last posting was at the School of radio 1968-1969. HeEdgar Witts was an Instructor  ENG.RAD which I’m guessing is Radio/Radar Instructing. Sadly my Grandfather passed away in 1970 so I never meet him and I’m trying to find some photos of him from Courses or Group photos.


His service record is over 200 pages but does not go into great detail and I only have photos of him dated from WW2. Any help would be great. If you could even suggest where more info might be possible that would be great. I think his unofficial name in the RAAF may of been "shorty" which is kinda weird as I’m 6 ft 3.




We heard from Douglas Walker who lives in the US. He says:  “G'day and thanks for a very interesting publication. I would appreciate contact information for Mr. Geoffrey Ballard whose article on the role of ULTRA signal intelligence is part of an article in5th Air Force Vol. 33, page 3 of the Association's magazine. My interest concerns research being conducted in connection with my father B.Gen. Kenneth N. Walker who was lost on a bombing mission at Rabaul, New Britain while commander of the Fifth Air Force Bomber Command 5 Jan 1943. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Douglas P Walker, New Canaan, CT USA.


We did some research for Douglas but unfortunately, we couldn’t help. We did discover that Geoffrey Ballard was born in 1915 and possibly could have passed on. We passed that info onto Douglas who replied:


Thanks for the info, sorry to hear about Mr. Ballard, but I wonder if I could place a query in your magazine on this subject? It would concern anyone familiar with the ULTRA operation and signals during the late 1942-1943 period covering Allied air operations from Port Moresby to other targets in PNG, very much as described in Mr. Ballard’s article. The interest stems from research underway about the circumstances surrounding my father’s loss and the possibility of formerly confidential signals on that or related subjects from the December 1942 – June 1943 time frame. If necessary, I’d be happy to provide more information and hope that we may reach someone who, like Mr. Ballard, may have been active at that time. I realize the odds are not favourable, but it’s worth a try if it’s feasible.


I’m much indebted to the many Australians with whom I’ve been in contact, historians, authors and especially Peter Dunn whose website “http://www.ozatwar.com/ is possibly the most comprehensive archive of information on WWII.Thanks again here’s hoping someone out there may have what we’re looking for, Douglas


If anyone can help, get in touch with us and we’ll pass the info on.




RAAF Canberras in Vietnam

Ken Marks has let us know that his well researched book, originally titled “Remembrances” has been re-issued under the new name of “RAAF Canberra Bombers in Vietnam, 1967 to 1971” and there is now no problem with delivery.


If you are interested in this history it is now available via Palmer Higgs Books in Melbourne. We’ve read it and can recommend it.


You can get further details HERE




Definition of a secret:  Something you tell to one person at a time. 



5 Mini-Computer course.


We had the following pic in Vol 33 but we had the names wrong. Neil Hunter has corrected us, so here are the correct names: (Apologies to all)


Number 5 Mini Computer course

Back L-R:    Mark Fraser, Mick Frey, Nigel Dunn, Gary Meyes, Cliff Rogers

Front L-R:   John Anderson, Ron Daley, Dave Marchant, Keith Starks, Rory O’Connor.


The instructors were Peter Outtrim, Noel Pettit, Geoff Norman and another SGT  who name is unknown.


And Noel Pettitt saw the article also, and he says: I saw the article and I can give you the names, and I should remember them as I was an instructor on the course.  2nd from right at back is Gary Meyers. 2nd from left at front in Ron Daley and the middle front is Dave Marchant




Dennis Graham says, “I saw the photo (below) of 9 COMSOP ADMIN in Vol 35, Page 3. Actually the course title is 9 COMMSUPADMIN Course and you had the names wrong”.  The people in the photo are from left to right:   


9 CommsOp Admin

CPL Judy Hodge, CPL Ian Cooke, CPL Graham "Henry" Gibson, SGT Dennis "Mouse" Graham (I am the one in the middle), CPL Sandy Matheson, CPL Wayne Ranger and CPL Kay Richards.




Eric Easterbrook says he walked the Kokoda Trail from 13 June to 23 June this year and used the occasion to try and raise some money for Legacy.


Eric – well done mate, that’s no mean feat, let us know how you went and where are the photos??




Bill Eccles wrote, he says “I think I can fill a gap in one of the articles in Vol 35, Page 19. and I must say that Graham Crawford,  as a member of No. 17 Course, presented some great photos of Appie life. In the photo below, I believe the bloke playing the bass guitar on the far right of "The Avanties" is Graham Younghusband.




Glen “Shorty” Stevens wrote to say:  Hi, regarding the picture of the Avanties in Issue 35. All are 17 Radio App Course blokes, with Graeme (Frog) Younghusband on the far right. The guy in the front is not Veitchy, but actually John Pickup. Cheers, and keep up the good work


The Aventies

L-R:  Graeme Sinclair, Ian Kerr, John Veitch (sitting), Alec Robertson, Peter Duncan (sitting) Graham Dennes and Graham Younghusband of 17 Appy. (Dave Gaffee confirms that, he says Graham was the Corporal at the Radio Development Flight Ground Radio Workshop at ARDU around 1967-1970).


Rod Cheshire

Bill says, "In the photo beneath that one, in Vol35, the bloke in the splendid red cardie is Rod "Puss" Cheshire from No. 18 Appie Course. He was in the band formed by that course called The Mustangs, and played rhythm guitar.


I was the drummer in that band. Rod obviously picked up great hoofing skills from the visits to Lowther Hall dancing classes.


I've attached a (not the best quality) photo of The Mustangs (below) playing at an Appie Squadron End-of-year Dance.


Click the pic for a bigger view


The Mustangs


In the photo above, the bloke having trouble standing is Pete Gilvarry, who also wrote a short piece in Vol 35, next is Phil Laird (19 Course), lead guitar, Rod Cheshire, rhythm guitar and myself on drums. Missing off the right of picture was Leon Smith (Schmoo), playing bass guitar. The artwork on the bass drum "foreskin" was done by the talented Roy Thompson, also of 18 Course.




Definition of tomorrow:   One of the greatest labor saving devices known to man. 




Re our Facebook page, Kevin Poulter, from the Historical Radio Society, got in touch, he says, “thanks for the invitation to join Facebook, but I definitely will not be joining. My reasons include a hugely busy work schedule and I also believe it is a leaky security venue, as evidenced by my friend being impersonated by another person and even having a visitor come at 11pm at night,  sent by the whacko who stole his identity.So guys - love your work, please keep me informed of your newsletters by normal emails.


A lot of people think like that Kev – and that’s fair enough. But – a lot have joined and it seems to be working ok, so!!, it’s there if you want to use it - tb




Ray “RG” Thompson got in touch, he says  “Remember Nadia Comanecci?  She was the Romanian gymnist who was born in 1961 and who won a bunch of medals at the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games. Well she is a little older these days (see photo atNadia Comanecci right) and has grown into one very good looking sort. (OK! OK!  Ted!!!   Click the pic for a better view - tb). There’s an email doing the rounds saying that she has a grand-daughter who has followed in nan’s footsteps and also taken up gymnastics, but like a lot of these ‘amazing’ emails, it is not true.


Nadia emigrated to the USA and became engaged to Bart Connor in 1994 and they married in June 1996. Their wedding and reception was held at the former Romanian presidential palace.


Comăneci and Conner welcomed their first child, a son named Dylan Paul Conner, on June 3, 2006. Nadia was 45 years old.


The girl in the email doing the rounds is Boyanka Angelova from Bulgaria and the video shows her at the European Championship Final in Torino in 2008.  Damn kid is made of rubber, gotta be, she is amazing and you can see her HERE.


Mind you, Nadia wasn't too bad back then either, have a look at THIS



Gus (Ron) Maystone wrote: “As an ex Frognall apprentice (No 9 Course), enlisted in 1955, it is great to see some of the old names I served with and sad to see some old mates who have passed on, eg. Doc Johnson (who I worked and drank with at support command) and Bill Wheeler who I shared a room with at 11 sqn, at Richmond when he was still a Radio mechanic before he went to a Billy Graham meeting and saw the light”.




John Kelly wrote: I think that there is a great sadness coming up! Two of the course photos in Vol 35 were my courses at Radschool and I can hardly come up with any1 Comms Op Course names. In the 1 Commsop course photo (right), the blond Turnbull, second from left in the front row, I think you will find is Wendy and the far right in the front row I think her name might have been Helen, and if it was, I suppose it still is!


In the 103 Teleg course photo (below) that Mick Conyard wanted published, Mick is, of course, in the middle of the back row. In the front row, second from left is Stewart (Stewey) Garfarth, and next to him is Mal Collard. Also in the front row, second from right might be Russell Haigh but I am not sure. I can't imagine a worse state of affairs than this! I never took anything home when I was instructing at Radschool, so I have no memorabilia from those days so can't check.

103 Telegs

At least some of the other course members should at least have a photo with the names. Maybe one of them receives the newsletter. All of the stuff produced at RADS over the years must be somewhere. Have you any idea where it can be accessed, preferably online? I expect something would have to be in the National Archives. I haven't looked into that as yet. Please don't amend your records with the email address from whence this message came. As far as I can deduce it is the only way I can have a POP3/SMTP email and use a normal email client when I am not connected to my ISP. It is a pain in the backside, having to log on to your ISPs webmail and use and use that! Also, it is often as slow as a wet week!


John – we've had discussions with Archives and hope to have some photos and names etc by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted. AND!!  re your email problem, if you're using Outlook as your email client (as most people do) try this:

  • In the Incoming Mail Server dropdown menu, ensure POP3 is selected.

  • In the Incoming Mail Server field, type in pop3.grapevine.com.au.

  • In the Outgoing Mail Server field, type in smtp.grapevine.com.au.

  • Click Next.

You should be a able to use outlook from anywhere then.





Dick Harcourt wrote, he says:  Hi all, Hope all are well down under in Oz. (CricketDick Harcourt cricket cricket) Thanks for continuing to send me the magazine which I always find most interesting. The last issue was of particular interest and I forwarded it with a note to a number of the RAF Butterworth & Penang Association members who I thought would be interested in the article about 114MRCU as of course a number of RAF “Scopies” served alongside the RAAF at 114MRCU at Butterworth when it was on the seaward side of the old East/West runway. As soon as RAF Western Hill was built and opened on Penang everyone moved over there and 114 closed. There were a number of ex-RAF who served at 114 and Western Hill at this past weekend Reunion held in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Great weekend.


Daphne and I were both able to attend as she has just finished her second lot of chemotherapy and was feeling well enough to make the trip with me. Everyone made a great fuss of her which really boosted her spirits and we even managed a walk along one of the canals that thread their way through the countryside, with the weather also co-operating, being nice and warm and sunny. Many parts of the UK are suffering near drought conditions at the moment, we have been very short of rain. (Cricket cricket cricket)


Daphne had another CT Scan two weeks ago and we see the Oncologist on Thursday for the results. So it is a real “fingers crossed” time though we both know there is no cure, we are hoping this last chemo will have knocked back the tumours and given us some time??


Wish her all our best Dick - tb.


At this year’s reunion we had a headcount by year of service at Butterworth which was really interesting. Our oldest member arrived on Butterworth in 1945 with army units to take over from the Japanese and spent his time dismantling and scrapping Japanese aircraft. RAF Butterworth opened in 1941 just in time for the Japanese invasion, so this year is the 70th Anniversary of RAF Butterworth. It is also the 70th Anniversary of the first RAF casualty from Butterworth with the loss of an RAF Sergeant. His grave is still within the airfield as there was no time to bury him elsewhere. Other casualties are buried in either mainland or Penang Cemeteries.


In November we will be holding a Memorial weekend at the National Memorial Arboretum to commemorate these Anniversaries. We have our Far East Air Force Memorial there which was dedicated in 2006. There is a separate memorial for the WWII Malaya.Base Sqn Butterworth


Right that’s enough of my waffle, so some requests. Have you any idea where I can get (if they are at all available from somewhere in Australia) an RAAF tie, a RAAF Butterworth Base Squadron blazer badge? Also would like to get my son an RAAF “slouch”?? hat with badge for his birthday?


We’ve found one for you Dick, go HERE.  Badge number A351 is Base Sqn Butterworth, you can order it there.  If anyone can help Dick with the rest of his “wish list”, please get in touch and we’ll pass it on.




Julian DeRoss got in touch, he says we will find the two video documentaries very interesting,


"The History of Political Correctness"       "The Century of the Self"


One is by a conservative group in the USA, the other is more liberal by the BBC (much awarded). They lift the lid on how things panned out from the 20s to the 80s and in particular of our relevance what was behind the 60s and all the various revolutions/counter culture.




Robert Wylie says “Just having a read of your mag and after 29 years in RAAF reserves I can recall many names in the articles, I am aware that both Temora and Caribou at OakeyHARS are both interested in obtaining a bou and there are a number of ex 22 SQN techos working at HARS who have many years’ experience working on 38 SQN bous. and during a visit to Temora I had a long chat with their engineering people re some of the past problems and what spares they should also tender for. They are very keen to obtain an airframe. Hars report on their website that they have already had a visit to Oakey to assess the condition of the aircraft stored there.”


We believe they have secured one and will maintain it in flying condition - tb



Definition of an egotist:  Someone who is me-deep in conversation.



Susan Milgate (right) says I came across your magazine by accident, searching for aSusan Milgate long-lost friend, Vicki Sewell. Vicki was the first female Radtech, followed by Monica Hemmingway. I am the third person referred to by Dave Claydon, in the same course as Monica, but not Radtech material - transferred to 16 SIG after a few months. My entry to Radschool was a propaganda opportunity as the first female from Tasmania, never had any desire to be a Radtech, but like a good little WRAAFEY, followed instructions and landed at Laverton May 1980. I have some great photos of Vicki and Monica, if anyone is interested.


Susan – yes please!! - tb




Jim “Bud” McCullough from West Chester, PA, in the USA wrote to say: This link and pictures are submitted for potential publication in “The Radschool Magazine”. TheCPN-4 pristine GCA CPN-4 Radar Unit, such as one used by both Austrailian and USAF servicemen, is a picture from an earlier Radschool edition, while the other picture is a destroyed GCA CPN-4 in Vietnam.


The link will bring up a series of photographs taken in Vietnam in December 1966. Of interest to all GCA maintenance men and operators is the destroyed GCA unit, which is either a CPN-4 or MPN-11. By hitting the 'next picture' on the link you will see several pictures of our 'beloved' GCA, which was used by both the Aussies and Yanks. Seeing this picture of the destroyed GCA unit gave me the same feeling I might experience if my old and trusty car went off a cliff! This was the first time I have seen what war does to a CPN-4.

CPN-4 in Vietnam

Even though I was in the 2nd Mob (2nd Mobile Communications Group) in Europe, we were closely allied with our sister group, the 1st Mob, and other Australian GCA maintenance service members during the Vietnam Era.


I'm a rabid reader of the RAAF Radschool Magazine, and I've seen you publish several pictures of a GCA unit (CPN-4). The early pictures of graduates of 'Rad School' could easily be labelled graduates of USAF GCA and other electronic units. I really enjoy seeing these guys/mates because it brings back some happy times in the service of our countries.  And then I see the pictures of our comrades as they age, and it helps to let me adjust to where I am in life.


We asked Jim why he was called Bud, and suggested perhaps it was because he was an avid consumer of Budweiser. He said


Although my Christian name is James, I was always called 'Bud' as a young child, I assumed I was called Bud because there were so many "Jim's" in the family.


But, a few years before my Mother passed, she finally told me why they called me 'Bud.' At age 90, my Mother told me she had a boyfriend when she was just 16 years of age, and his name was Bud. In a very serious accident the original Bud lost his life while still a young teenager. I don't think my Mother ever told my Dad why she called me Bud.


But, the Budweiser idea may be a good explanation as to why I am called Bud - it seems to make better social sense.


BTW, I'm really forward to receiving your newsletter. As well as seeing the class pictures of very young students, I get to see how they look today. It gives me a good feeling to see my fellow Air Force brothers who as aging just as I am, so I am not alone.


The RAAF was/is a great organization - I'm glad you're keeping the spirit alive.



Definition of dust:  Mud with the juice squeezed out.



Gary Kimberley got in touch, he said  “I'm writing to compliment you on the fine job you did in extracting the excerpts from my memoirs and publishing them in your magazine. I hope your readers enjoyed the article and found it interesting and informative. I am not on the internet and hope to stay off it for as long as possible but was shown the article by a friend and was quite impressed.Gary Kimberley


As some of your members, I am sure, would know, those few "Pilots who knew everything and wouldn't or couldn't be-told' soon had that knocked out of them in PNG. Tragically, we suffered a number of fatalities amongst aircrew and passengers as a result of crashes in that wild and dangerous environment.


The only `nitpick' I have regarding the article is the ultra-light aircraft in the picture you published is a powered Quicksilver modified hang glider, not a Kimberley Sky-Rider. I am enclosing herewith some items on the Sky-Rider and hope you find them of interest.


You can see them HERE


The Sky-rider represents a new approach to the problem of producing an ultra-cheap, ultra-safe sport aircraft. Although classified in the powered hang glider category, the Sky-rider has the controls and handling characteristics of a conventional light aircraft. It would therefore be equally well suited to the novice who may later wish to progress to conventional light aircraft flying, or to the experienced light aircraft pilot who wishes to step down to ultra light flying as .a low cost sport or hobby.


It has been designed to be dismantled and folded for carriage on the roof rack of a car or for storage in the garage.


You will no doubt be disappointed to see that weight limitations precluded the fitment of radio racks for the comms, colour radar, triple INS and digital flight controls. Once again, my compliments to you on the good work you are doing with the magazine.



Definition of an adult:  A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle. 




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