Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 40
Dennis Wayne Young
Graeme Chalmers advises that Leading Aircraftsman Dennis Wayne Young, Equipment Assistant, passed away on 10 May 2012. Dennis served with 9 SQN in Vung Tau in June 1966 to June 1967 and therefore would have been on the first 'putsch'. Unfortunately we have no further details.
Virgil St Jerqvist
George Foster advises that Virgil passed away peacefully in Rockhampton on Sunday 20 May 2012. He had been in poor health for some time and George had been in contact with him via telephone, but, as George says, at last comms (a couple of weeks prior) Virgil had difficulty breathing even to talk. A Prayer Service for Virgil was held at Our Lady's Help of Christians Church in Rockhampton on the 26th May followed by a private committal.
Maxwell Neil “Blue” Hardie.
Gary Hardie, who is Blue’s son, saw our story on Col Cliff on Page 14 which had a photo of a bunch of people at Frognall and which also included “Blue.” Gary says Blue’s name was Maxwell Neil, but he was never known as Max, always Neil and he was nicknamed “Blue” due to his hair colour. Sadly, he died back in 2003, due to a heart attack. He had been ill for some time prior to that but the miracles of medicine kept him alive until 2003.
Gil Young advises us of the passing of Ken Bryant. Gil says he worked with WOFF Ken Bryant in Townsville in 1981-1983 and got to know him well. Gil says he lost contact when he was posted and after he discharged, but caught up with him eventually in Brisbane. He was living down near Logan. Unfortunately I heard from his wife in late 80's or early 90's that he had died.
John Sambrooks advises that ‘sumpy’ Thomas Samuel (Tom) Maddock, BEM, died on the 27 May at age 90. Tom joined the RAAF in 1941 and served during World War 2. As a Flt Sgt, he was posted to 35 Sqn in Vung Tau from Jan 1971 to Feb 1972 and on return to Australia, was promoted to WOff and spent his last RAAF years at Support Command. He was finally discharged on the 7 Jan 1979 – after 38 years’ service. Tom was born in Drouin, which is about half way between Melbourne and Sale, in 1922 and was buried in his home town, Drouin, on Thursday the 31 May 2012.
Ruth Mewton advised her husband, Jim, passed away last year, 15th May 2011 as a result of cancer. No further details.
Barry Ray Messer.
Laurie Lindsay advises the sad news that Barry Ray Messer (right), succumbed to liver cancer and passed away peacefully on the 4th June 2012, aged 68. Barry joined the Air Force on the 8th Feb1960 and was posted to the Radio Apprentice School at Frognall as part of No 14 Radio Apprentice Technician Course. As a Radtech G his postings included Butterworth, Vietnam and Paris on the SURAD project. He left the RAAF in the early 1980s as a Flight Sergeant then worked in his hometown of Gympie repairing electronic equipment before scoring a job with ASIO, where he stayed until retirement.
He was diagnosed with liver cancer some three years ago and succumbed on the 4th June 2012. Funeral Prayers for Barry were held at St Joseph's Church, Elsternwick (Vic) on Friday the 8th June followed by a private cremation.
William James (Jim) Thorn passed away on the 20th April, 2012 – aged 85. Jim was Chief Instructor at the School of Radio in the early seventies and became the CO in 1973. He was the project manager during the erection of the new building. As he was a forthright man, some people disliked him, however, you always knew where you stood.
Jim, who was born in North Freemantle, in West Australia, joined the RAAF in 1944 and was discharged in 1975 with the rank of Wing Commander.
Les Holt advises that Bob Kee passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on the 28th June 2012 at his home, soon after returning from a holiday in the top end of Australia. He would have been 79 on the 28th July of this year. Bob had been working in the yard and his wife realised that she had not seen him for a while and eventually found him dead in the garage – suspected massive heart attack.
Bob joined the RAAF in 1949 when he was 15 years, 5 months and went to Wagga as a member of the 3rd intake of apprentices, known as the ‘Sunbeams.’ They graduated on the 7th December 1951. He was commissioned from the rank of LAC in 1956 and following his successful completion of an officer’s course at Rathmines in 1956 (not everybody passed in those years) he was posted to Air Trials Unit, Woomera.
Bob always had presence. He walked with a swagger, he was tall and he was athletic. He was the type of fellow who could take his shirt off and still have rank. He progressed through the ranks at an unimpeded rate to become one of a group of four Group Captains within the "Instrument Fraternity" of the Engineer Branch. (The others were Greg Grantham, Don Mazlin and Bob Bartram). Sadly not all four could be promoted together and Bob had his name pulled out of the proverbial hat to become an Air Commodore. He served for a total of 39 years and upon retirement moved down the hill from Canberra to the vicinity of Batemans Bay. Here he remained extremely active as a committee member and participater in golf clubs, tennis clubs, Probus, and walking groups.
A "Celebration Of His Life" was held in Canberra on Monday 9th July where a huge number of people attended to pay their respects. Bob Kee was always a very ordinary fellow, he never acted as if he was superior to others, he just was.
Kerry Harrington advises that Bill Hawkins passed away last Tuesday, 17 July. There were no notices in the paper and the funeral was for family only
Neil Hunter advised the passing of Leon Megaw on Friday evening (28 July 2012) from a blood condition akin to leukaemia. Ted's funeral was keld at the Karrakatta Crematorium on Tuesday 1st August. As Ted Washbrook says, Leon was a Telstech in the old language but as all things change that mustering has probably been absorbed to protect the guilty. Ted says "Neil sat with us at the Christmas before last luncheon in Perth that was for former Pearce groundies. Sad to see him go.
No further details are known at this time.
Laurie Lindsay advises that Michael “Mick” Matthews had passed on recently, he’s not sure of the date, but thinks it was about 12 months ago. Mick was a RADTECHG who graduated off No 9 Radio Apprentice Course in 1958. He was a champion rugby player and this photo at right was taken in 1963 when he played in the RAAF First Grade team in the Victorian Rugby union.
John Smythe has sent us a couple of photos of Mick, he is front row 2nd from left in the top photo and on the left in the one below that.