Vol 52

Page 3

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Page 3 Girl.


Our lovely Page 3 girl this edition is Janice Dixon.



Janice joined the RAAF in February 1987, as Janice Jays, as a CLKA and as a very young 17 (and a bit) year old.  She was born in Gunnedah NSW and lived on a 7000 acre property on the Liverpool Plains. Her High Schooling was completed at Coolah Central School.


She remembers arriving at 1RTU Edinburgh after an overnight bus trip from Sydney to join Course 8/87 with CPL Greg Baker as its Instructor. She met her husband-to-be, Michael Dixon, while at 1RTU, he was on her ‘Brother’ course. They both came to Wagga in April 1987 (until August 1987) to complete their Trade Training and fell in love with the area and hoped one day to come back.


Rooky course 8/87.


Janice is far right, middle row.


After completing their course in August 1987, they were both posted to the Melbourne area, she to OTS/RAAFCOL at Point Cook and Michael, as a Clerk Supply, to RAAFPU (Publications) then Base Squadron Laverton.  She was posted to 1SD at Tottenham in May 1988 then in Feb 1989, after she was married, she took a discharge. Their first son arrived while they lived in Werribee, then in July 1992 Michael was posted back to Wagga, where, in 1995, they welcomed their second son. Michael was posted into various Units around Wagga including, Base Squadron Stock Control, Ration Store and RAAF Supply Training as a CLKSPLY Instructor. He finally discharged in September 1999 and they stayed on in Wagga, bought a home and settled down.


During the time they have been in Wagga, Janice has predominantly been a "stay at home" Mum, raising their two wonderful boys, the eldest is currently in the ARMY based in Enoggera (Qld) and is engaged to a lovely young Queensland girl. Their youngest is studying IT at TAFE. She now keeps busy working in the Administration side of the Automotive Industry and at Kapooka Army Base and is currently one of the Admins of three EX RAAF member Face Book pages.


Both she and Michael are keen motorcyclists, both riding and watching and they enjoy the few and far between times their small family are together in Wagga.



Fishing at Jim Jim Falls.


Some time back, Ray Noonan, Dave Peters and Bill Callinan headed off from Darwin for a fishing trip in the Kakadu at Jim Jim falls.



Jim Jim Falls is about 350 klms (or two cartons) east of Darwin and Ray (they called him Leroy for some reason) got a migraine headache as a consequence of a blend of factors including an old Landrover Ute, a couple of slabs of beer in the back and several white posts on the side of the road. On arrival Leroy was to declare both Callinan and Peters as seriously unhinged persons and proceeded to complain at length and steadfastly refused any offer of beer.


On arrival at Jim Jim, Bill and Dave set up the tent so Ray could hide away, console himself and try and shake off the headache, they then launched the boat complete with rods, bait and a carton to keep any pending thirst at bay. When they were an hour or so out on the Yellow Water Billabong (no fish caught), an enormous thunderstorm broke directly above them - the cloud was greenish and so low you could just about touch it.  When lightning struck very close (numerous times) accompanied by very loud, instantaneous claps of thunder, they shook off the effects of copious quantities of lager, with a lot of help from profuse amounts of self administered adrenalin, drove the boat onto the mud and ran like hell towards the tree line. They had a theory, lightning always strikes the tallest object, trees are big - therefore!!!


They then collected Leroy from the tent which was, by this time inundated with water, they didn't anticipate the Billabong filling quite so quickly when they chose a site to pitch the tent. Leroy was actually quite distraught, somewhat frightened and still suffering from the migraine and he was very reluctant to leave what he considered the safety of the tent and instead take solace in the local just up the road. Eventually, the safety of 4 solid walls and a metal roof overcame any reluctance to leave and Leroy was finally convinced to depart the tent and take up temporary residence in the pub until at least the storm, which was a doozy, even by NT standards, had left the scene.


Unfortunately, on arrival at what was considered the high ground, they found that the storm had earlier found the generator shed and knocked out the genset, consigning the pub into darkness. There were no fans, no aircon, no lights, no TV, no music and no tills but the fridges had been working up until just a few minutes ago, so the beer was still cold. Ray, Bill and Dave were the only patrons in the hotel, and mine host Tom Opitz, who didn't want to see a good opportunity pass him by, came up with a way in which he could still serve them and keep a tally of what they had drunk - and then relieve them of sufficient funds when the power was restored and the till worked again. 


The trick was, Tom would serve them beers and then place the rip tops in front of them on the bar (Ray had refused to drink) and the idea was that when the power came on they would just count up the tops, multiply the number of caps by $X and they would settle up. The storm raged on, and it was at least two to three hours before the lights came on again and the count started. Bill and Dave had already drunk a very considerable amount during the course of the day so they didn't think they'd end up with a large bar bill - Not the case, when the lights finally came on they were confronted with a huge pile of rip tops, the count of which they vigorously disputed, to no avail, and they had to cough up. To this day they reckon old Tom took advantage of a couple of drunks and the only bloke that might have successfully backed them up, was Leroy who was asleep in a darkened corner.


As happens in the top end, once the storm had gone, out came the sun and next day was fabulous. They caught a bunch of fish and eventually headed back to Darwin, but Leroy point blank refused to go fishing with them ever again.


Ray Noonan and Dave Peters - on the road back to Darwin.




I couldn't help but over-hear two guys in their mid-twenties while sitting at the bar last night. One of the guys says to his buddy:  "Man you look tired.” His buddy says:  “Man I'm exhausted. My girlfriend and I have sex all the time. She's after me 3 and 4 times a day, I just don't know what to do." Sitting a couple of stools down, two old blokes overheard the conversation. One looks over at the two young men and with the wisdom of years says:   "Marry her son.  That'll put a stop to that stuff."



114 MCRU


Trevor Wilkinson sent us these, he says:  “Just wanted to submit a couple of pics that may be of interest.


The pic of 114 MCRU dudes was taken in Jan 1974 (and yes before Tracy later on that year). We had just packed the entire unit up prior to going on an exercise to RAAF Darwin in the middle of the wet season I might add!  Who remembers jacking up all those cabins with jacks on each corner! The guys are sitting on the radar balloon. A few people in the pic that I remember were Graham Venn, Hedley Horne, Paul Nipperess - can't remember others as I didn't stay at 114 for very long. I do remember that the whole move was a big pain in the ass and with the wet season in full swing, quite uncomfortable. We set up the radar very close to the runway and passengers on international flights must have wondered what was going on. The boozer was very well patronised and I remember an interesting competition involving carving of male appendages!



One very sad moment on that trip was the death of Trevor Lamont and others, killed in a plane crash while heading out on a skydiving jaunt - very tragic.



Also who remembers the "bones of contention" between RAAF Laverton and the Army Survey regiment based at Bendigo? The Army had a very nice workplace and many different sports were contested there between the two establishments. I was fortunate to compete in squash there (unfortunately being trounced ) but a great day out however.  I’m on the left and Flt Lt Abernathy 2nd from the right. Can't remember the others.



Seven wheelchair athletes have been banned from the Para-Olympics

after they tested positive for WD40.



Base Radio


Al Snelling sent us this, he says:  “Another shot of the boys at base radio. That's Phil Haase far right. Boyd Lang with his back to us. Redhead was another Phil I think,  X-appy and finished up a WOFF I believe. Any help on the other?”






This photo (below) was sent to us by Phil Gibson. He says the course was held at RAAF School of Technical Training in Wagga and ran from May to June 1966 (6 Weeks). Phil says his memory has faded a bit and he can’t remember all the names, if you can help?? 


Back Row L-R:   Barry Flynn,  Phil Gibson,  Peter Head,  ? Reilly,  ? Pound,  ? Evans

Middle Rpw L-R:   Eric Lay,  Bobby Goodwin,  ? Moody,  Bob Eising,  ? Cole,  ? Dillon.

Front Row L-R;   ? Nielsen (Bluey),  Bryan Carpenter (Rags),  ? Smith,  ? Williamson (or Williams),  ? Pike,  ? Natale,  Ralph Dickenson

Course Instructors:   Warrant Officer Bluey Guest & Flight Sergeant Barry Drinkwater.




A boy asks his granny, 'Have you seen my pills, they were labeled LSD?'
Granny replies, bugger your pills, have you seen the dragons in the kitchen?




A farewell salute.


Kay Hart send us this pic which was taken back in Dec 1983 when she and husband Brian, and a bunch of other people, were on the Freedom Bird on the way home after a few years in Butterworth.


Back then, before the world went crazy and introduced Political Correctness and Global Warming and stopped believing in Santa Clause, whenever the B707 left Malaysia for Oz, a couple of Mirages would fire up and fly each side of the Boeing for a few miles to say thanks and good bye. A lovely gesture but you’d get shot if you did that today.   SAD!!









Seen celebrating his 72nd birthday at the upmarket "GREEN ZEBRA" Restaurant and Bar at Kawana on Qld’s Sunshine Coast was that well-known man about town, Mal Sayers!!


Also seen congratulating him was the also well-known and charming personality, Miss Maggie Moonbeam of the "Sugar Town Sweethearts".


Those remarkable Red Hat Ladies were enjoying an early salute to the fast approaching Festive Season.


Miss Moonbeam looked her usual enchanting self in a large picture hat decorated with twinkling lights, feathers and flowers for which she was awarded Best Hat of the Day and a welcome bottle of champagne.


Mal, of course, had on a pair of denim shorts for which he was awarded absolutely nothing……



When the Goonies ruled the skies.






Mervyn Kurts (right) sent us these pics, the first two of which were

taken in 1946 on route to Rabaul.







L-R:   Merv Kurts, Flight Engineer, David Evans (later to become the CAF), Flt Lt Fitzgerald (Nav) and the radio operator (name forgotten).







Crew and members of the WW2 disposal group. Merv and David Evans flew this group to many locations.



Kawana Resort for officers outside Tokyo.


Kawana was an old castle or palace and would be about 4/5 stars on today’s hotel rankings. It included a first class golf course and professional instructor.  Young girl caddies and all golf equipment included in $1 tariff, plus all meals and the usual hotel services.  (You had to buy your own beer). But alas all good things must come to an end, in this case prematurely.

On the 28th of April 1952, WWII legally came to an end when all combatant nations signed a peace treaty and Japan regained its sovereignty. This gave them the right of access to all establishments. Consequently the RAAF had to leave.


The hotel still exists, see HERE





Entry to Clark Field airbase Manilla, 1948





No 2 CRU (Lee Point) RAAF DARWIN NT.



Howie Campbell, Welfare Officer, Radar Branch, RAAF Association NSW Div, got in touch, he's currently in Darwin and advises the old site of No2 CARU has been levelled, the radar towers removed and the site will soon be covered with Defence Housing.


Sadly another bit of our history disappears.






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