Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 46

Page 19

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Your say!


 Your Say!


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SURAD Radar Screen.


We heard from Harry Howard, who was an ATC. He is looking for a photo of the SURAD radar screen which was fitted to the Williamtown Control Tower. Specifically, he would like the photo to include the controls on the right hand side and the screen active with maps, coast, aircraft etc.


If you can help, please send your email to us and we’ll pass it on.




Kev Rosser


Kev Rosser got in touch, he says, howdy all, just a quick note to let you know I'm still alive! I'm at the beginning of my 6th year out at Hughendon and am going to pull the pin in July and go back to my house on the Atherton Tablelands.



I'm going to be on the road shortly after that and am driving South - at least to Beechworth in Vic to see my 93 yo mother. I've also got lots of people to visit in the Brisbane area, you included. There's your warning!


Had my 65th birthday on the 15th Feb – had a ball.



I have been discussing the missing 777 with a number of friends and I have put my prophecy to them. The 777 will be found on the ground in remote West Australia! Lots of abandoned WW2 airfields, lots of large flat desert areas and lots of totally uninhabited country!


There's a good chance of it not being found for years (probably never, if it did indeed fall into the ocean).


I've still got a couple of AN/ARC - 51BX sets if John Broughton is still interested. Seeing as they weigh 33LBS, it would be cheaper if I brought one with me rather than post it.



Theresa Caruso.


Theresa Caruso got in touch, she said, I'm a travel writer and recently I was inspired by my niece, Mary, to write an article about airplane history because she's learning about it in school. When we travel we take planes, trains, boats and cars and it's fun to learn the history behind it all! I wanted to create a resource that was easy for kids to understand.


During some research I came across your helpful LINKS page. You have some really good information, thanks! If you don't mind a suggestion for your page, you can check out my article HERE:  I think it might make a nice addition for your visitors!


Mary said that she learned a lot from it while having some fun at the same time. Not only does it teach students about the history of aviation, but also provides links to lesson plans and other learning materials. Let me know if you get a chance to add it - Mary would be thrilled to know that the article she inspired was helping other kids!


Thanks Theresa – it’s there!!  tb


Husband’s Message (by mobile phone)  Honey, a car hit me outside the office. Paula brought me to the Hospital. They have been doing tests and taking X-rays. The blow to my head doesn’t seem to have caused any serious injury, but I have three broken ribs, a compound fracture in my left leg, and they may have to amputate my right foot.

Wife’s response.   Who is Paula?



Thomas Brownstein


Thomas Brownstein got in touch, he said, Howdy, your email address was passed on to me by Howard Campbell of the RAAF Association Radar Branch as you may have some knowledge that could assist us.


We are a group of Radio Amateurs from Swan Hill in North West Victoria who are setting up a working radio installation in the signals bunker at the site of the former RAAF flying boat repair depot in Lake Boga.


To complete the station we would like to apply for a special call-sign, resembling the original, to use in our on air operation and we would like to find out the original call-sign(s) used by the depot during WW2. We have a photograph (attached) that we believe shows a call-sign but we are not sure if it is a civilian call-sign or an RAAF call. Any information regarding this subject would be much appreciated.


We also need to know what sort of antennas were setup there, really any details about the radio installation, so if appropriate perhaps include that in the request too.


So far we are setting up the bunker and aim to have it operational in a few weeks, this information regarding the original callsigns and antenna setup would certainly help us recreate the bunker ect. and preserve this fast disappearing history.


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





Andrew Taylor.


Robert Scott got in touch, he said:  I would like to contact a member I have seen in the membership list.  His name is ANDREW (Andy) TAYLOR. We served at East Sale 1980-85 and as instructors at Radschool 1987-89.  Like most people it seems as we get on in life, retracing our youth seems to be the thing to do. To this end as I have bought a house in Sale I have become a member of the RAAF East Sale SGTS mess. There seem to be very few ex RAAF members living in Sale that are of my vintage, like none. The SGTS mess here at RAAF East Sale is much smaller than it used to be, this may be the same across the RAAF now as more maintenance is done by civilian contractors other than serving personnel. 



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




KC Albright, Sgt, USAF


Hello to my friends from down under...About 2 years ago, I wrote to you and several others from your group who then forwarded my request to others who had served in Thailand in the 60s. The response was over-whelming. My request was to try and see if I could document the use of agent orange in/on the airbases in Thailand and specifically Ubon, Udorn and Korat. When it was all done, no one could provide any actual documentation. Many of your mates responded several times with new ideas and new leads. But, I was never able to show/prove my agent orange case as required by American Veterans Administration requirements.


About that same period of time, our congress amended the law so that if the veteran could show he/she was on the perimeter of those Thai bases for a lengthy period of time, the veteran should be considered as "boots down in Nam" if the veteran had specific medical issues (interestingly the list is the same as the agent orange medical issues...in my case a heart attack).  The law is very specific to "being on the perimeter". Between the diagram you sent me of Ubon and the Australian hooches and a diagram from one of my colleagues, I was able to show my hooch was right on the perimeter. I had my TDY orders that put me there for 120 days in "68" and "69". My colleague had a picture of a mattress from the hooch with an Australian's name and rank.  I appealed the first decision and was awarded a 10% disability.....the money is very small but it gave me access to all VA hospitals for the rest of my life. The hospital access is significant.


So THANK YOU to all of you who took up my cause. No I never was able to prove the agent orange was there but our congress doesn't just to change rules just to make people feel good. Someone knows more than they are telling the public and specifically veterans. I don't think any of this helps you with your quarrel with your government but I wanted you know you helped out this American GI. Would you please share my sincere "THANK YOU" to your members for helping me out.







Howie Campbell


Howie Campbell wrote, he said Howdy, Sad to see a couple of people that I knew, on the Vale List. Sally Nutting and Dave Cooke had their wedding reception in my married quarter at RAAF Darwin in the 1960's. Like all young RAAF people, there was very little money around so it was the pleasure of my first wife Jenny (deceased) and myself to organize that event. I also new Derek Ward as a young Techo. He was the only single living in officer at No1 Control & Reporting Unit RAAF Brookvale in 1959. I started No 7 Aircraft Plotters course on that unit in 1959.


Kindest regards. Howie Campbell Welfare Officer Radar Branch. RAAF Assoc. Div.NSW.

Chairman of Central Coast (NSW) Pension & Welfare Officer Network.





Mark Eatts


Mark wrote, he says “Just wanting to pass on details of a book I have just about finished reading that may interest many of the association's members.  It's lengthy title is 'Shropshire Blue' A Shropshire lad in the RAF Volume 1 Preparation for flight.  Author is a retired RAF Goup Captain named Ron Powell.


It will be of particular interest to ex apprentices such as myself.  Ron joined the RAF from rural England in 1973 as an apprentice airframe fitter/engine fitter (yes combined trade way back then!). Later he commissioned, after several attempts and became a pilot.


It is very clear that the RAAF apprentice scheme was based on the RAF model as the stories of his time at RAF Halton as an apprentice are remarkably similar to mine at Laverton and would seem alarmingly similar I am sure to ex apprentices from Wagga.  It is a very honest book and had me giggling when reading about his exploits which I could completely relate to.  Worth a look.   Available on Kindle and it is less than $10.


About the book:   A flight with the Red Arrows sparks in Ron Powell a desire to tell the story of his early life and 32-years in the Royal Air Force, from engineering apprentice to group captain pilot. The result is “Shropshire Blue: A Shropshire Lad in the RAF”. This first volume opens with him growing up in Ludlow, a historic town on the English/Welsh border, where his interest in the RAF is sparked by a headstone in a local cemetery. He joins the Service as a Halton apprentice, suffering under a harsh regime preparing him to parade before HM The Queen just five weeks later. It’s a duty he performs another ten times during his three year apprenticeship. On graduation, Ron works on Vulcan bombers that are poised to fly into the heart of the Soviet Union. He conveys the power and menace of these amazing aircraft, while painting a vivid portrait of life on a Cold War airbase. After selection as a potential pilot, he begins officer training. Once again, the regime is harsh, but he knuckles down, relating many, often humorous, episodes on the way to gaining his commission. You can find out more on Ron’s website, http://www.ronpowell.co.uk.




Michael Perrott.


Last issue our lovely page 3 girl was Judie Pick and we had a photo of her pinning the wings on Navy pilot Michael Perrott. Michael saw the story and got in touch, he says,  “I couldn't believe that Judie kept a copy of the Navy PR photo from 1967; let alone have it published some 47 years later in the RAAF Radschool Magazine.


It was only by chance that for the first time I decided to 'google' my name for photos. I’ve never given the photo to anyone and so I wondered how on earth somebody got a copy of the photo. Judie and I only met for the moment of the photo, although as a 'collector type' I somehow later managed to have Judie auto-graph my copy of the photograph.


The story behind the photo is that Naval Pilots used to wear gold wire wings on the left sleeve, above the rank. Then some bright spark in ‘the head shed’ decided to save money and come up with the idea of cheap 'Kellogg's Cornflake' type metal wings. These photos, and there were two WRAAF models, were part of some sort of PR exercise to show where the new ones should be worn. The other part of the fairy-tale is some tradition by which girlfriends were given the honour of pinning wings on graduating pilots. I never saw it practised either in the RAN or in the Royal Navy during my two years on instructor exchange with the RN, in the UK. I think the idea must be come from some Kamikaze pilot tradition?


I kept my copy of the photo in my Midshipman's scrap book.


Tis a small world, indeed


Sincerely, Mike.”




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