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News and Reunions!




The "Rebirth of 35 Squadron" Celebration.

RAAF Base Richmond.

7-9 August, 2015.


The RAAF's Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifters are planned to start arriving in Australia later this year (2015). The C-27J, which is a replacement for the now retired Caribou will be operated by 35 Sqn which was put out to pasture in 2009 (See HERE).


The C-27J complements the capabilities of the current C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster aircraft and uses common C-130J Hercules infrastructure and aircraft systems such as engines, avionics and the cargo handling systems.


The acquisition of the C-27J Spartan will significantly improve the Australian Defence Force’s ability to move troops, equipment and supplies.  The C-27J has the capacity to carry significant load and still access small, soft, narrow runways that are too short for the C-130J Hercules or runways which are unable to sustain repeated use by larger aircraft.


A battlefield airlifter needs to be able to operate in a high threat environment. The C-27J with its missile warning systems, electronic self-protection, secure communications and battlefield armour provides protection from threats ranging from small arms to highly lethal man portable air defence systems.


The C-27J was assessed by Defence as the aircraft which best met all the essential capability requirements and provides the best value for money.  It was assessed as being able to fly further, faster and higher while carrying more cargo and requiring a smaller runway than the other aircraft that were under consideration.


It is expected to be operational late in 2016.


The first aircraft are anticipated to initially be based at Richmond using existing facilities however it is believed that 35 Sqn will eventually be moved to Amberley where it would operate with and compliment 36 Sqn's C-17s.


The RAAF has planned a ceremony to celebrate the rebirth of 35 Sqn and to introduce the new aircraft to Richmond and we've been invited to attend.


If you're ex 35 Sqn or ex 38 Sqn or if you've worked on the old Caribou then you're invited too.


Rtfv-35sqn has all the information on their web site, you can see it HERE.




Spartan techos soar.


Eamon Hamilton


THE first four C-27J Spartan airlifter technicians from 35SQN have completed their training course and returned to Australia, after starting in December 2014, and another six technicians will graduate this month.


Now new ways of doing business are being found by No. 35 Squadron, with technicians from 35SQN being trained across both the aircraft and avionics systems in a single course. Ordinarily, technicians would be trained according to their primary trade system course. The cross-training will allow the technicians to be ‘grey’ authorised across aircraft and avionics systems rather than being streamed into a single trade. CO 35SQN WGCDR Brad Clarke said similar practices were being developed in other squadrons. “The difference between us and other RAAF units is that we’ve been able to establish this as an initial baseline, and incorporate it into the training system at the development stage,”


“While it’s a smaller airframe, the C-27J has similar complexity to other Air Mobility platforms.” Training is conducted by L-3 Communications Integrated Systems at Waco in Texas and will continue until new facilities and devices are established in Australia.  


CPL Will Taylor, CPL Ryan Procter, SGT Dan Sharp and CPL Lloyd Coutinho.

The first four C-27J Spartan airlifter technicians who have graduated

from their training in the US.


CPL William Taylor is an avionics technician who graduated from the first course. Training in both aircraft and avionics systems on the C-27J represented a new environment for CPL Taylor, who previously worked on the F/A-18F and F-111C. “There is now scope to authorise members across different trades based on their individual capabilities,” CPL Taylor said. “We covered off on all aircraft systems during training, and grey tasking is something 35SQN will be trialling to reduce manpower needs. “The Senior Engineering Officer will authorise technicians to carry out work in the areas he deems we are competent and confident.” Flexibility in the 35SQN workforce will allow it to operate more effectively on the frontline, which is where the C-27J is expected to excel. The aircraft’s low weight and small dimensions allow it to operate from airfields that cannot accommodate larger transports.


“It is such a compact aircraft with a lot of good features, assisting small units to get in and out of tight areas will be one of its main roles as it is designed for these types of missions.” “The C-27J has its own individual characteristics which make it unique and will be a real asset to the ADF and Australian government.”


Training with L-3 instructors featured a mix of classroom theory and practical lessons with the real aircraft plus the flight simulator. A C-27J simulator located in nearby city of Arlington was also utilised to train technicians in the aircraft’s engine systems, as well as emergency procedures. The current crop of 35SQN technicians all have experience on other RAAF types, however this will soon change. “Eventually we will be sending fitters straight out of trade school for training overseas, the only prior learning required was that all students had completed appropriate initial trade courses in Wagga, and a keen attitude.


The first of 10 aircraft for 35SQN will arrive in Australia by mid-year, with another in August.


The C-27J’s design is based on the Alenia G.222 transport, which first flew in 1970. Much like the Hercules, the G.222 design was subsequently developed with new avionics and engines, making it the C-27J. Each aircraft is powered by a pair of Rolls Royce AE2100D turboprops, each delivering 4600 shaft horsepower.



A really great salesman is one who can actually make his wife feel sorry

for the girl who left her panties and bra in his car.




50th Anniversary of the Battle of long Tan.


Attention all signallers past and present, families and friends.

50th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan

9 day tour/reunion


15 August – 23 August 2016


As is the custom of the expat Vietnam Veterans, to have a tour to celebrate significant events of the Vietnam war, we are again proposing the above tour/reunion to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of long Tan.


The tour will last nine days in country and will encompass the areas of Saigon, Vung Tau, Nui Dat and a day trip to the Mekong. Post tours are available.


The cost is $US990 per person twin share and a single supplement of $US300 for anyone requiring single accommodation. Most meals and all transfers and entrance fees are covered in the fee. All transport to and from Vietnam, Visa, Travel Insurance costs and tips (USD 3.00) are the responsibilities of the participant.


The tour will have English speaking guides.


As in previous Tour the number of places is limited, (approx. 200), we would advise people interested to start planning their participation and enrol as soon as possible.


More information and Registration can be found at Buddha’s place. 


The address is:                                  http://www.buddhas-place.com/

Other queries can be sent to:              rasigsvn2016@outlook.com


Robert “Stretch” Murdoch

Secretary -  50th Anniversary Tour.




A Wannabe.


An arrest warrant has been ­issued for an accused fake war hero who told a magistrate he was dying of cancer after he failed to appear in court.


“Major-General” Neville Donohue faces deception charges, including impersonating a public official, and is also being chased for failing to repay a $460,000 loan. Mr Donohue has repeatedly failed to appear in court, writing to a magistrate in February last year that he was dying of cancer and had just months to live. Police officer Vaughan Atherton recently told the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court Mr Donohue was “an old-time swindler” after he again failed to appear. This time, Mr Donohue submitted a statutory declaration claiming he was absent on “special military duty” and called for the charges against him to be heard in camera due to their sensitivity. He made a similar claim when he failed to appear in January.


Mr Donohue has been identified by former Army personnel as ex-corporal Neville McBryde Donohue from the Kilsyth (Vic) area, who served in the Army from 1970-76 but never in operational areas. He denies any wrong-doing and claimed to the ­Herald Sun earlier this year that he was in his 45th year of military service and service to associated paramilitary government groups.


“I didn’t earn my decorations in the normal fashion, as in day-to-day military service. I earned them in behind-the-scenes service,” he said then. Mr Donohue was charged with falsely claiming to be a veteran and wearing medals to which he was not entitled, after photos of him wearing four rows of military medals on his chest went viral on veterans’ forums in 2013.


Mr Donohue faces 19 charges in the Magistrates’ Court, including seven counts of impersonating a Commonwealth public official, deception offences relating to employment and driving offences, and has pleaded guilty to several unrelated deception offences. He also faces matters in the County Court relating to an unpaid loan on a house he purchased in June last year.




Airman Aircrew badges.


Lance Haslewood advises that he has a limited quantity of Airman Aircrew Badges available for purchase.  The badge measures 35mm long by 25mm high and is copper-finished.  For those desirous in purchasing a badge, details are below.


Please don't forget to tag your transaction with your name and follow-up with an email to me.


Badge: $10.00.

Packaging: $1.05

Postage: $1.40. (Australia only ~ please contact me for overseas shipping cost)

Total: $12.45.


Payment details:

BSB: 014-740

Acct No: 904638517

Acct Name: Lance R Haslewood


Contact: lanceh@zeta.org.au

07 5496 4381

0414 295 888




Insecticides used at Nui Dat


John Mordike* writes:  “Over the last two years I have undertaken a study on the use of insecticides at the 1 ATF base at Nui Dat, the home of the Australian and the New Zealand fighting force in Vietnam. The most important finding of this study is that much of the truth about insecticide use by 1 ATF has never been revealed.


Taking a broad perspective, my study has revealed the roles played by the Army, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Primary Industry in the examination and reporting of the use of insecticides by the Australian Army in Vietnam.


This article narrows the focus. It presents a synopsis of the findings of my study in relation to the use of insecticides at Nui Dat. And, it is not only the Nui Dat base that was exposed; other significant personnel concentrations were located in Vung Tau (“backbeach” and the airfield) where large stocks of the chemicals were stored and used.


The article is based on primary source documents from Army’s Vietnam records. The records are held by the Research Centre, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and are available to the public for research under the terms of the Archives Act (1983).


After the passage of forty years and a Royal Commission in 1983-5, it is time the truth was revealed”.


You can read his article HERE.



*John Mordike is a Vietnam veteran and professional historian. He graduated from the Royal Military College in 1966 and served in Vietnam as the Officer Commanding 12 Field Regiment LAD. He has a BA and LittB from the University of New England and a PhD from the University of New South Wales. He is the author of ‘An Army for a Nation : A history of Australian military developments 1880-1914’ and ‘“We should do this thing quietly” : Japan and the great deception in Australian defence policy 1911-1914’.




RADIO Reunion.


John Broughton and Mal Sayers are planning a reunion for Ex-RAAF Radtech bods (and bodettes) which they hope to hold in Brisbane on the 22nd and 23rd April 2016. Anzac Day next year falls on a Monday so the idea is to hold the reunion on the Friday (22nd) (a meet and greet) with a dinner on the Saturday night (23rd) then those with war service can march with their unit on the Monday. Depending on the acceptability of the proposal, other events will be planned for Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.


If you are interested in attending a reunion next year, please send an email to John (jbroughton46@gmail.com) or to Mal (karnak661@gmail.com) and let them know if you're interested, including any comments you might have. If there is enough interest they will get it done.




A Freebie.


When John McDougall was overseas, he, like a lot of us, took a bunch of slides. Miles before digital cameras were born, slides were the go, they were heaps cheaper than colour prints and most of us ended up with boxes of them. But it was no good having all those slides unless you had a way of looking at them. There were several methods, there were small pocket viewers into which you slid a slide and held the viewer up to the light, there were inexpensive projectors where you placed a single slide into a projector to view it on a wall and there were automatic projectors with the works.


John bought one of those. He bought one of the best, a German Braun Nurnberg Paximat de Luxe projector, with stand, screen and lots of cartridges to hold and show the slides.


But – she who must be obeyed, has decided that since John has digitised all his slides, the space in the garage that is being occupied by the projector, screen, stand and cartridges has to be freed up, it’s needed for other stuff – it is time to send the projector and the other bits packing.


So!  If you want an excellent projector, screen, stand, cartridges and cabinet to hold the cartridges, then you can have them for free, only rider being, you have to pick them up from John’s place in Brisbane. If you want them, email us (replies@radschool.org.au) and we’ll put you in touch with John.


Click each pic below for a bigger view.




RAAF Clerk Reunion.


The RAAF Clerks are holding a reunion next year. Info below.









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