Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 42

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Bill Coyer


We heard from Bill’s son (Bill the 4th – ex Telstech) that Bill (the 3rd) had passed away just after Christmas 2012. Bill (the 4th) said “Prior to his passing, Bill’s health deteriorated considerably mainly due to his heart and as his blood circulation was poor, last year he ended up losing one of his legs. He was quite philosophical about it because he knew it was the only thing he could do to stay alive. He loved me making jokes about it so he kept his sense of humour.”  


Bill at the ANZAC Day march, Darwin 2007


“After the operation he spent several months in hospital but eventually went home to live with Mum and my sister Wendy and her son David. We enjoyed another 8 months with him before his heart gave out for good.  He died in his sleep in hospital not long after Christmas.  The nurse tells us she checked on him about 5:30 PM and he was happily snoring and when she went back in at nine PM he was gone.”


We knew Bill from our days at 38 Sqn. Back in 1967, 4 Radtechs, straight out of Laverton, Allan George, Dave Lugg (both ex Brats) and Laurie Gray and myself (Thicks) were posted to 38 where Bill was the Cpl Radtech. With our heads full of theory and absolutely no desk experience, we needed someone to show us the ropes and Bill was volunteered.


We remember him as a caring and very patient bloke who took us all under his wing and helped us through those scary early months. He was also very good at local geography and showed us how and the quickest way to get to the Fitz, Mar’s and the Richmond RSL where we spent the odd Wednesday afternoon “Sporty”.


Bill and me at the 2001 reunion in Brisbane.


Bill and his wife Win, loved the odd party and we can remember one such event where they had the 18 in their back laundry and as usual, everyone knew the correct gas setting and up and up it went. The spear eventually left the keg followed very quickly after by the rest of the brown liquid.


Bill was also the ‘foreigner’ champion for the Sqn and I can remember the back room containing numerous B&W TV’s, one of which was watched by most of the Squadron in July 1969. He also developed a TV antenna which was made from two pieces of aluminium and a bit of plastic – most people had one.


Bill will be sadly missed.



Edward Park


Gary Olsen advised that Eddy Park, who served with 2 Sqn during WW2 , died on the 27th Feb 2013.


In the very early hours of 19 Feb1942, after the departure of the last Hudson, LAC Eddy Park and a party of 2 Sqn volunteers were left behind at the Penfoei Airfield in Timor when the Squadron was recalled to Darwin. Later that morning, they received news of the Darwin raid and that the Japanese had commenced their invasion on the coast at Koepang and at Dili.  The airfield later came under shell attack from Japanese warships.


So started the heroic, inspiring and epic story of the Penfoei Pedestrians, so well told by John Bennett in his book Highest Traditions, The History of No 2 Squadron.   Refer pages 134 – 146.


Under the command of FLTLT Bryan Rofe, the party set about the demolition of the Bomb dump and planned their departure to the coast for a possible pick up by flying boats. Subsequently, the survivors were picked up by the submarine USS Searaven, on 17th and 18th April and they headed for Fremantle arriving on 26 April after much drama during the dangerous voyage.


Gary says “I am sure those of you who knew Ed and met him at the many reunions he attended, will be much saddened by this news and will mark his passing with many kind thoughts. Eddy’s funeral was held at the John Alison Funeral Parlour, Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon, on Wednesday 6th March 2013”



Henry Ernest (Max) Page


John McDougall advised the passing of “Max” Page who died on the 6th Feb. Max was on the 5th apprentice intake (Buttercups) and was a FSGT Airframe fitter at 35 Sqn. from 9 July 1970 to 7 June 1971. On return from Vietnam he obtained his commission and was SENGO at 38 SQN in the mid 1970's



“Scotty” Croaker


Barrie O'Callaghan advises that Scotty Croaker passed away on Sunday (3 Feb 13). He had a very large gathering of family and friends at the funeral, followed by a similarly large wake at their home at Mount Eliza .


 Don Lynch

Don Lynch.


Rod McLaren told us the sad news that Don Lynch, a mate from years ago, and who was on 41 RADTECHS course back in 1967, passed away in Scottsdale Arizona, in December 2012. Don worked for Amalgamated Wireless (AWA) in the 80's and had married and settled down in Arizona USA.


Unfortunately, we have no further details.




Barry Allen.


Bob Hambling has advised that Barry Allen (RadtechG from 16 Appy Course) passed away on 14 Dec after a traumatic battle with cancer.


Unfortunately, we have no further details.


 Ken McDougall


Ken McDougall.


John McCormack advises that Ken McDougall, ex Telstech, succumbed to Cancer on the 23rd December 2012. Ken’s funeral service was held on the 3rd January at the Salvation Army Hall in Mandurah, south of Perth.




Trevor “Babe” Richardson,


Gerry Hemy advised of the sad passing of Trevor Richardson. Unfortunately, no further details at hand.




John Campbell.


Mick Lawson advised that John William Campbell, former Telstech 1TMT (1966/67), passed away on New Year’s eve. John’s funeral service, which was well attended, was held on Tuesday 8th January at Warrigal Road, Burwood, Vic after which he was taken to Cowes on Phillip Island for burial. Philip Birch, a long-time friend, had been askedJohn Campbell by the family to be a pall bearer and he said it was very pleasing to see how many locals attended the funeral as a mark of respect to John. Sue, John’s wife, asked Phil to thank all ITMT members who contacted her and showed concern for John.


John joined the RAAF in 1965 and was inducted into 1TMT (1 Telecommunications Mechanic and Technician). He later applied for and gained a place at the DCS (Diploma Cadet Squadron) based at Frognall to undertake a diploma in Radio Engineering at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) after which he was posted to Headquarters Support Command. He served for 12 years in the RAAF and on leaving joined NEC. He left NEC after a few years and worked for a number of other similar companies including IBM until he and his wife Sue bought and operated a Muffin Break franchise in Melbourne. He then undertook a Diploma in computer technology and worked as a systems engineer. His final job was with Fujitsu in Melbourne.


John loved to read and learn. He was a very keen cyclist and used the various Victorian cycle paths on a regular basis. He was also a very keen pilot owning three aircraft over the past 40 years. He leaves behind his wife Sue and three sons, David, Gary and Ross, and their families.



Steve "Paddy"McCormick


Paddy McCormick.


Harry Allie advised the sad news that Steve “Paddy” McCormick passed away on Sunday the 13th Jan. He had suffered from Lung Cancer and was in Hospital in Melbourne at the time. He was posted to East Sale back in the 1960’s as a Cook’s Assistant and ended up doing 20 years, his latter years were spent as a butcher.


His funeral was held at the Delbridge Funeral Chapel in Sale on the 21st January.




Graham Peatey


“Dick” Tracey advises the sad news of the passing of Graham Peatey on the 22nd January. Graham was a Sumpie on 17 (Lizards) intake. His funeral was held on Friday the 25th January.




Bruce Cooper


Brian Dirou advised us of the sad passing of Bruce Cooper who left us on the 25th January due the further effects of Alzheimers and other ailments.


Bruce joined the RAAF in July 1940, served during WW2 and stayed with the RAAF until October 1975.


Some years ago, the Queensland University of Technology recognised Bruce for his work in the early development of radio and IT systems. He was a pioneer in information technology and was part of the team responsible for giving four hours’ notice of the Japanese air raids on Townsville. He was a member of 6WU regarded as being vital to Douglas MacArthur during the war and the Americans later credited him with shaving two years off the Pacific War due to his work in the RAAF Wireless units.


Bruce initially joined the 5th Corp of Army Engineers, an army reserve unit, in 1938 and when war was declared, he found himself constructing World War 1 type slit trenches on Dee Why Beach. Being a young healthy bloke and seeking adventure, he didn’t want to spend the rest of the war doing that so he joined the RAAF as a wireless operator. He flew with 6 Sqn at Richmond in Hudson bombers until it was decided that wireless operators should also be air gunners. He wasn’t keen on that either, so he managed to have himself posted to Townsville as a wireless operator. When Japan entered the war, he was working on cathode ray high frequency direction finders and was able to fix an aircraft’s position through the Direction Finders they were using. When the Japanese headed for Townsville, Bruce spotted them and worked out where they were headed and alerted operations who, at first, did not believe him.


A remarkable man.


Bruce's funeral service was held on the Gold Coast on the 31st January. He was 92.




Roger Heady


Bob Hambling advised the sad news that Roger Heady (ex RadtechG from Course 9) passed away on the 31st January, after suffering a heart attack. For the last 30 odd years Roger worked at the ANU in Canberra. He was responsible for electron microscope work and was awarded a PHD there.




Jim Dilworth.


Laurie Lindsay advises that Jim Dilworth passed away last year, unfortunately, he doesn’t have any further details. Laurie says: “Jim joined the Air Force in 1956 as an apprentice radio technician on No.10 Course.  He graduated as a RADTECHA and he was one of my corporals at BFTS when I was posted there in 1962.  He subsequently went to Diploma Cadet Squadron and graduated as a pilot officer in 1965.  He reached the rank of group captain before his retirement.  I worked for Jim at BFTS and I worked with him at the School of Radio.  He was the same person as a corporal as he was a group captain.  At the School of Radio, he worked in the same office as Francis Jeffreys.  Francis liked to have a sleep after lunch and Jim used to sneak up to the door and throw it open suddenly to wake him up.


Jim was a fine man and will be missed.  BUT!!!!  Graeme Rickart advises::

The notice for Jim Dilworth is a bit premature.  Jim had a fall late last year and suffered a broken femur but that was not terminal!  As far as I know, he is on the mend and while he is not playing golf yet has been seen driving his golf cart around Fairbairn golf course.

Our apologies Jim!!!  Laurie is now on CB










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