Vol 48

December, 2014




ABN 18 477 110 847


The Magazine by and for Serving and Ex-RAAF people - and others!


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Sadly, in the few months since our last issue, we have once again lost some very good mates.


  See Page 2

Our lovely Page 3 girl this issue is Rosa Wallis and Chrissy Hart hits the beach.


See Page 3

Microsoft has finally got the back-up problem sorted and are we on the brink of the greatest scientific breakthrough ever?


See Page 4

We’ve got lots of photos of different courses and different units.


  See Page 5

DVA now recognises “Warlike” service and the Orions at Edinburgh are starting to show their age


  See page 6

That great old and much liked Patriarch of the RAAF, Rocky Rockliff, tells us his story.


See Page 7

Jeff Pedrina tells us the story of the time he left a Macchi in full flight over WA.


  See Page 8

The North American X-15 was some machine, as will be the US Navy’s Gerald Ford once its commissioned.


See Page 9

The REOA got together in Melb and 3 Sqn got together in Caloundra.


See Page 10

You have to be careful when taking medicines and why exercise is so good for you.


See Page 11

Was the C-27 a good buy?  And Gallipoli Barracks have a family Christmas party.


See Page 12

Noddy goes to the G-20 and DVA Qld have their Christmas party.


See Page 13

We have a look over East Sale.


See Page 14

The East Sale Equipos and their mates got together in Nov.


See Page 15

John Laming took 4 Merlins to remote Momote in PNG.


See Page 16


A couple of blokes have been a bit crook and could do with a bit of a cheer up.


See Page 17

We’re looking for a few people, perhaps you can help.


See Page 18.

This is where you have your say. We look forward to getting your letters - so please keep them coming.


See page 19

Here’s the news, all the news, the whole news and nothing but the news.


See page 20.



The Index is now finished - all references have been linked so if you're looking for a topic or a photo of someone, click on the Index link on the top of each page and just follow the links.



If you agree or disagree with anything in this Magazine - please let us know.

Click on "Contact Us" at the top of any page and have your say.





RAM thought for the day.

“In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations,

it’s cold, half-French and difficult to stir.”







New Contributor.


From this issue, we’re lucky to have John Laming join us on a regular basis. In 1947, after the war, and when John was 15, he migrated from the United Kingdom to Australia. He worked for the Sydney Morning Herald Flying Services at Camden from 1948 to 1951 as a "general dogsbody". One of his tasks involved throwing out newspapers from Lockheed Hudsons and a Douglas DC-3 on newspaper delivery flights to outback New South Wales.


In 1951 he joined the RAAF as a pilot where he flew a wide variety of types including Mustang, Vampire, Lincoln, Convair, Viscount, Dakota, and HS748. He even once flew a borrowed RAN Sea Fury!  Spending spells as a flying instructor at Uranquinty, NSW, and Townsville, Qld., John accumulated lots of hours on Wirraways, Winjeels and Tiger Moths. His wide experience also led to a tour as an aircraft accident investigator with the RAAF's Directorate of Flying Safety.


In 1962, then Flight Lieutenant Laming was awarded the Air Force Cross for his services as a Captain, Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Examiner with 10 (MR) Squadron flying mostly Lincoln Mk 31 maritime patrol aircraft. Then in 1969, after 18 years in the RAAF, he left and joined DCA Head Office in Melbourne as an Airways Surveyor. Shortly after that he moved to the Flying Unit at Melbourne/Essendon flying DC-3s and F-27s on airways calibration duties.


In 1976 he moved on to the commercial aviation world and joined Air Nauru, initially flying the F.28 and then the 737-200 on routes throughout the South Pacific. In 1989, after 13 years in the tropics, he left Air Nauru and went to England to fly for Paramount Airways on 737s covering Europe and Middle Eastern routes. When Paramount Airways went out of business John moved to Hapag-Lloyd where he flew various types of 737s based in Hamburg and operating Europe-wide, to North Africa and to the Middle East. In 1992 he had no choice but to "retire" due to the age 60 rule in Europe and thus returned to Melbourne. There he engaged in General Aviation charter and instructor flying, and also 737 flight simulator work plus consultancy on aircraft accident investigation.


With more than 23,500 flying hours, John Laming holds a current ATPL, CASA Delegation for instrument rating tests on the Boeing 737 simulator and current a Grade 1 instructor rating. He is also an accomplished author with many published articles on a variety of aviation subjects to his name.


We’re lucky to have him. 






Serving Members’ pay dispute.


Recently the chief of the defence force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, emailed personnel with what he said was ‘a fair and reasonable offer’. Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel face losing some of their leave entitlements as part of a deal that includes below-inflation pay rises. The decision, conveyed in an email to personnel early in October, has been branded “outrageous” at a time when ADF members are risking their lives in combat operations in Iraq.


ACM Binskin, said the position taken to the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal involved an annual salary increase of 1.5% during the three-year deal. The most recent official figures show inflation is running at 3%. ACM Binskin told ADF members it was “a fair and reasonable pay rise in the context of the government’s financial position and the clear need for wage restraint”. He said, “As you will be aware we are in an economic and budgetary climate where government has indicated the need for managed reduction in costs, of which pay is a part, across the federal public sector. The ADF provides “a unique service to the nation” but it “must operate within the government’s wage framework when considering any remuneration package”.


He also signalled some changes to leave arrangements.


“One of the things we will offer up is one of the CDF [chief of the defence force] approved leave days over the Christmas period,” he said. “Another is the removal of extra recreation leave (ERL) provisions. “I know that leave is important to all ADF members and I have not taken this decision lightly. However, I believe that with the other leave provisions that are available (including short leave from duty) and the inequitable way that ERL has been applied across the ADF workforce in the past, these offsets are reasonable.” “I know that some of you will believe this increase does not properly acknowledge the job you do,” he wrote. “However, as I noted earlier, this proposal must be viewed in the context of the broader economic situation. I am of the view given the circumstances, this is a fair and reasonable offer and is as good an outcome as I can negotiate in the current climate.”


Professionals Australia, (who?? you might ask!) which represents engineers and scientists in civilian defence roles, described the offer to uniformed personnel as “outrageous”.


David Smith, the Australian Capital Territory director of Professionals Australia, said the decision came just days after the government formally committed to military action in Iraq. “At the same time as we’re looking at deploying more people overseas we expect their families to have to make ends meet with a below-inflation pay increase and expect they’ll have less of an opportunity to stay at home by cutting leave entitlements,” Smith said. “It’s outrageous. Defence employees, whether they’re civilian or in uniform, go above and beyond. To attack their leave entitlements particularly when they’re more likely to be deployed or are being deployed is outrageous. “This is an example of how ideological the government is about working conditions for all public sector workers.” Smith said ADF members had “limited representation” and did not “get a real say in this outcome”.


About 600 ADF members have been sent to the Middle East, including 400 RAAF members who will participate in air strikes against Islamic State (Isis) targets.


All very emotive stuff – so let’s look at the facts!!


The average annual wage in Australia for a civilian tradesman (plumber, electrician, motor mechanic etc) is $68,900 pa.


The average annual wage for a Lance Corporal, LAC, and/or AB is $63,138 plus $13,118 Service allowance plus uniform allowance $419 = $76,675 pa. The serving person also receives a very generous and tax free allowance when serving in some areas overseas plus free medical/dental which can amount to a saving of hundreds of dollars a year.


Both civvy and serving persons accrue 4 weeks annual leave and both are entitled to all public holidays. Neither civvy nor serving person will lose any of these entitlements. The serving person is also entitled to what they call “Extra Recreational Leave” (see HERE), which can add another week to the serving person’s leave. Extra Recreational Leave was supposed to acknowledge extended work hours over the year but had inflated into an expectation.


This is the leave that ADF is reducing, not normal ARL as has been strongly hinted at by some sections of the media and by a certain politician of the female variety. But! - There are other modes of leave that can be granted in the same way, these remain untouched. The serving member is also entitled to an extra 18 days leave a year, on a pro rata basis, when they perform warlike service in an operation area.


This year the serving member is also not required to attend for duty for the period that commences on 25 December 2014 and ends on 2 January 2015. This is on top of all other leave granted to the service man or woman and has been the case for some years, but looks like it too will go.





The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations recently released a media statement raging against the Government for daring to raise married quarter rents. Once again, let's look at the facts.


Click HERE see what ADF personnel pay (fortnightly) for a married quarters.  This is the current table which will be raised by 4.2% early in 2015.


From the table, a Lance Corporal (or equivalent) will pay $492.46 a fortnight for a 3 bedroom house today and $513.14 next year. This is far less than the poor old civvy plumber, mechanic or electrician will have to pay.


It's a rise, that's for sure, but is it fair, we would dare to say it is.


For what it’s worth, here are a few ways I think ADF could save some money and make some real productivity gains:

  • Sack half of the Defence Materials Organisation.

  • Get rid of extraneous directorates at ADF Headquarters such as Directorate of indigenous Affairs.

  • Get rid of any public servant working on diversity for transsexual, intersex, homosexual, or feminist objectives, it’s not that these issues are unimportant, they just aren't core business for defence.

It’s only human to want more and it’s damn hard to give something up when you’ve had it for a while especially after it has been treated as the norm, though we feel this topic has legs and it hasn't run its race just yet!!.


There's always three sides to every story, his, yours and the truth, most times it's a good idea to hear all three. We’re not taking sides here, and we're not saying you shouldn't always strive for better conditions, but all in all, the conditions of today’s serving men and women are pretty good


An awful lot better than when we wore the uniform.



Check it before you send it.


We’ve lost count of the number of times we received an email which said “In the coming days, DO NOT open any message regardless of who sent it to you with an attachment called: BLACK MUSLIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE”.  This terrible email was supposed to carry a virus that would do all sorts of terrible things, flatten all your tyres, pinch your washing off the line, even harm your computer.


It’s an old email that has been around for yonks and if the sender took a few minutes to check, before mindlessly sending it on to all and sundry, they would have found that it is a HOAX. It’s garbage.


Another one that continuously does the rounds is that plane that drops a wing and the “very experienced” pilot manages to land it – I mean, who actually believes that rubbish??


Before you on-send that junk, go to Snopes and check its authenticity, click HERE.




Course Photos.


We intend to eventually have copies of as many RAAF courses (with names) as it is possible to obtain. When finished you will be able to search by course name and/or personal name and if your course is there, get a copy. Availability is the big problem, some photos are easy to get others we have to travel to copy but over the coming months we intend to do so. We now have most of the WRAAF course photos and names and will get them up soon. You can check what we have by going to the www.Radschool.org.au site then click “Course Photos”. If you see any errors let us know or if we're missing any names and you can provide them - please do.


Over time the list we've started will be expanded, we hope to be able to include courses that were held at Wagga, Frogers, Pt Cook, Sale etc.






Most (but not all) of the photos on our pages have been ‘crunched’ to make them open faster. If you want a copy of any in their original condition just email us, use the “Contact Us” link at the top of page, tell us which one you want (Vol and page #) and if we have a better copy we’ll email it back to you.


This edition contains a lot of photos and if your internet connection is not all that fast you will find some pages will take a while to load. If this is the case, it is best if you just open the page and wait a little while until it fully downloads before trying to navigate through it.






We’ve changed the membership rules. From now on anyone can join. If you’re RAAF (serving or Ex) you’re now a full member, everyone else is an Associate Member. We’ll change the membership application and the list of members soon.  We stopped being just Radschoolites a long time ago,


Please check the list of names and if you’ve joined but your name isn't there, please click on the "Join the Association" tag (there's one on the top of each page) fill in the details again and send it to us. If you’re not a member and would like to be, do likewise.


Also, if you change your address, or phone numbers or email address, or you just want to say hello, or you want to give us a tongue lashing, you can do so by clicking on the "Contact Us" tag, also at the top of each page and filling in the details. It's so easy even an instrument fitter could do it, it's all done on line, no printing out forms and no postage.


Over the past couple of months we have been able to put a bunch of people in contact with long lost mates - but that's only because we have your details. Please click on the Join the Association tag and fill it in, the more people that join the more we can match up.


If you want to get the RAM, but don’t want to join the association, that’s not a problem either. Just click on the “Contact Us” link at the top of each page and fill in the details and tell us to add your email to the list. Then whenever a new edition is released you will be advised.


We don't and won't give out your details to anyone so there is no risk of you being spammed.




New Look.


With the above in mind, we’ve decided to abbreviate the magazine name to "The RAM". We fully appreciate that design is not our strong point and if you can design/suggest a suitable masthead for us, please do.






If you're having a reunion and you would like us to cover it and publish it, let us know (well in advance if possible) and we'll see what can be done. We now have some generous sponsors who have contributed funds to the association so we do have limited travel funds available.






Our aim is to have this site error free – but that’s probably impossible. But with your help I reckon we can get pretty close. If you see any errors, be they punctuation, spelling, links that don’t work, facts wrong etc, (no matter how small) please let us know so we can fix them.




You can download the full magazine in PDF format HERE.

It is a very large file, contains 278 pages and will take a while to download.

The margins have been set so you can print on both sides of the page.







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