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News and Reunions!




RADIO Reunion.


John Broughton and Mal Sayers are planning a reunion for Ex-RAAF Radschool 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, and if you haven't done so already, please fill in the coupon below, click submit to send it to John and if there is enough interest they will get it done. We mentioned the possibility of the reunion in the last issue of the RAM but response was poor, we'll need more numbers if we're to see it go.


First Name:      Surname: 


Please enter your Email: 


Phone number:        Would you attend?     


Enter your comments:


If you made a mistake, click   and start again.


When finished, click here: 


35 Sqn Freedom of the City - Cooktown FNQ.


John “Sambo” Sambrooks, the People’s Champion and also the Secretary of the RTFV/35 Sqn Association advises that a Freedom of the City march/parade will be held in honour of 35 Sqn in Cooktown (Qld) sometime between April and August next year – and we’re invited. It is still in the planning stage and as soon as a firm date is agreed upon he will let everyone know. The parade is being organised by a CPL Renae Halley from 35 Sqn and she is trying to gather some relevant information as to what's previously been conducted by 35 SQN.



She says:  “At this early stage, if you're able to assist in any way on the following points I'd be very appreciative:

  • airport / air traffic control details.

  • previously used accommodation options for up to 50 personnel.

  • previous vehicle support companies / options.

  • previous local watering hole (pub) details.

  • admin instruction/s or copies of ANY documentation from previous FOC march's.

  • anything else of relevance.

  • I've touched base with the Cook Shire Mayor, Mr. Peter Scott and his initial response to have 35SQN infiltrate his town is positive.

I am scheduling a meeting for next week with a small committee I have set up to really get the ball rolling. I anticipate more questions will follow and the plan will further evolve”.


The RAAF’s plan so far is:

  • 35SQN Executives and parade members arrive on a FRIDAY.

  • Conduct FOC march the following SATURDAY.

  • Conduct a post parade fuction on that SATURDAY.

  • Organise a 'social' event with local residents the following SUNDAY (ie: cricket match and BBQ lunch).

  • All 35SQN members depart late SUNDAY or MONDAY.


If you can help, let Sambo know and he’ll pass on the info. Any help/suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


The Freedom of the City was given to the 35 Squadron in 1998 as a result of the close ties between the Squadron and the Cooktown community over several years.


Sally Eales, the Tourism and Events Officer with the Cook Shire Council has offered the local accommodation options available in Cooktown and you can see the list HERE


Sambo says:  “From the photos we’ve seen it looks like a wonderful place for a few days holiday, perhaps we could arrange a “convoy” and all those interested in going could meet in Brisbane and we could all drive up together. It’s 2,000 klm from Brisbane so that’s a few nights on the road each way but if there is enough interest I can put on the planning hat and organise some events/tours, cheap accommodation etc on the way - we can play Grey Nomads and have a lot of fun on the way up and back down again.


I reckon we could be away for about ten days, if you've got a caravan or a mobile home, get it ready, those without a house on wheels, don't worry, we'll plan the whole thing around stopping in van parks with cabins so we can all get together and play up at the end of day. We could go up via the coastal route and down via the inland route.


The road from Brisbane to Cairns is sealed all the way and very easy. There are two ways to get from Cairns to Cooktown, the inland route is fully sealed, is 330 klms long and takes about 4 hours. The coastal route is only 230 klms in length but bits of it are for 4wd vehicles only. I would suggest we could liaise with the Cook Shire Council tourist department and organise some group “sight-seeing activities” on the Monday and possibly the Tuesday after the parade before heading south again, after all, it is a damn long drive if we’re only going to stay 2 nights.


So that we can judge the response to this, please fill out the form below and submit it to me"


First name:     Surname:  


Email address:  


Phone number:        Would you consider driving up in convoy:         




If you made a mistake, click and start again.


When finished, click 



12 Sqn Chinook.


John Flannery, an ex 12 SQN (Chinooks) bloke and a few mates are reinvigorating their ex 12 SQN members database and have asked if we could put a note in our next magazine for any interested ex 12 Sqn members to contact himself (john.flannery@casa,gov.au) or Rob Cooper (Robert.Cooper@Raytheon.com.au) or Scott Betterridge (SBetterridge@burrell.com.au).




Suggy's men; the first RAAF mob in Vietnam.


There’s a couple of ex RTFV pilots who are writing a book about the first arrivals at Vungas and they are looking for people who were there under Sqn Ldr Chris Sugden. If you were there in the early days and you haven’t been in touch with these blokes, please get in touch with Don Pollock HERE.



Does anyone recall the unit song which was sung to the tune of the “Pub Without Beer.” Don would like details of how, when and under what circumstances it was composed.


Click HERE to get the words to the RTFV Song.




Vietnam Tour.


Rod Richardson wrote, “Trade Travel are major group travel specialists and are delighted to attach their exclusive Vietnam Highlights Tour including a commemorative visit to the “Battle of Long Tan” Memorial Site in its 50th Anniversary Year. The tour, which will be held over the period 16 Days 8-23rd April 2016, is essentially an exclusive highlights/sightseeing tour through Vietnam (from the North through to the South) including all the Vietnam Highlights with one full day dedicated to visiting the Long Tan area and memorial site during its milestone 50 year anniversary year.


The special tour will be hosted ex-Brisbane by Graham Smith from the Sixth Battalion Association and a Veteran of Long Tan itself and includes return flight with Singapore Airline (ex-East Coast Capitals), 4 star accommodation throughout, most meals, all sightseeing and entries, English speaking guide, local gratuities and much more. The tour represents excellent value at $3,997.00 per person twin share.


If I could ask you to please let your membership know about this tour and generally promote it amongst Veterans, the various Association, RSL Sub-branch members, their family and friends it would be much appreciated. If you need any assistance, flyers and/or hardcopies of the itinerary itself please don’t hesitate to contact me direct.


April 2016 will be here before we know it so if there is genuine interest among your members I’d encourage them to register their interest early to avoid possible disappointment in the event that it books out.


If you have any queries or you require any additional information please don’t hesitate to contact me direct.


Rod Richardson <rod@tradetravel.com>





Multicultural Group.


Vic Stallan wrote:   “When I retired from paid work in 1993 (aged 60 ) I became firstly a voluntary literacy tutor to adult Aussies then an ESL tutor to migrants at the Alex. Hills TAFE in the Redlands (Brisbane). I continued in this voluntary occupation until 2000.


Since then I have been involved with a Multicultural Group which meets every Thursday at the TAFE or at other venues organized by the woman from Iran, shown in the photo.


Last Thursday we enjoyed a lunch of Malaysian and Burmese foods.




Some of the food set out at our multi-cultural lunch at the Malaysian woman's home..




I often help them with pronunciation, explanations and other relevant aids to improving their English. Lately I have been copying their VHS home movies (some dating back to 1989) to DVDs.


Mixing with these people who, with one exception, are much younger than I, keeps me feeling young”.


L-R:   Helena, Portugese;  Minnie, Austrian;  Elizabeth, Scot;  Pashtoona, Afghan;  Shahin, Iranian;  Helen, Aussie;  Victor, Pom-Aussie;  Zuzana, Czech;  Rina, Malaysian;  Moe Moe, Burmese.


The photo was taken by an Egyptian man, John.




Planning Ahead.


Many members of the veteran community are reaching a stage in life in which they may be considering the impact that bereavement could have on their loved ones. In particular, they may be thinking about what they can do now to assist their loved ones manage such an event in the future.


Planning Ahead has been developed by the DVA and is designed to provide information to help veterans and their families prepare for bereavement. The personal information and checklists will help ensure that important information is available to families when it is needed.


Many ex-service organisations and a number of other key organisations have assisted with this booklet, including the Public Trustee’s Office, the Law Society of New South Wales, Tobin Brothers Funeral Directors and the Australian Pensioners and Superannuants Federation. The cooperation and contribution of these organisations has been invaluable.


The services and organisations listed in the booklet, including the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, are always ready to provide whatever assistance you may require.


You occupy a special place within the Australian community. The Australian Government and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs are committed to listening to your needs and responding in a way that recognizes your importance in Australia’s past, present and future.


You can download the booklet from HERE.


There is also a checklist that can be used to record the contact details of important people, businesses and organisations that may need to be notified in case of your death. You can get that HERE.  There is also a Personal Information Sheet (HERE) which will help your family with personal information in the difficult time following bereavement and if you choose to complete and retain THIS FORM (your medical details) it might be useful too.




Caboolture Aviation Museum.


Russell Walker needs to have an all points bulletin (a DD to all stations??) asking our mates whether they have any old memorabilia that they would be willing to donate or loan to the museum. They currently have a reasonable display but can always use more. As people pass away (and we are in that age group now) their keepsakes are often thrown out. We can guarantee that any such keepsakes would be valued and preserved for posterity. Photos are also welcome as is any old communications kit or uniform items.


We’re having a look through the museum in the near future and we’ll report on it next issue.



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