Vol 54

Page 3

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Page 3 Girl.


Our lovely Page 3 girl this edition is Sandy Palmer.


(Click some of the pics for a bigger/clearer view)



Sandy Palmer’s association with the RAAF started when in late 1973, she was 17 years old and met Phil Palmer on a blind date at the Nelson Bay RSL. Romance blossomed between the pair but a complication arose in March 1974 when Phil, a RadtechA, was posted from 2OCU to 75 Sqn in Butterworth, with effect from early May. Obviously a major decision was required, split up or get married post-haste and fortunately for both of them the latter option was chosen.


Engagement Party – March 1974


The next two months were a flurry of activity, starting with an impromptu engagement party held at Kay and John Lennon’s rental house in Maroubra Crescent Nelson Bay. John by the way was a RadtechA at Williamtown, not a musician. A couple of well-known Radtech’s who lived across the road from John also joined in the celebrations, namely Bruce (Suds) Purcell and the late Trevor Lee.


Most weddings are planned well in advance of the actual day but in Phil and Sandy’s situation less than 4 weeks were available, so leave from 2OCU had to be arranged, venues organised, guests notified et cetera. Sandy’s hometown was Brisbane so arrangements were made for the marriage to be solemnised in New Farm, a riverside suburb of Brisbane. Most of the RAAF members travelling to Brisbane from Williamtown for the wedding left the Newcastle area on the 11th April 1974, which was the day before Good Friday. The road trip that night was horrendous as the roads were very congested with people rushing to their holiday destinations and this resulted in multiple fatalities, which in turn closed some roads and caused very lengthy delays.


Phil & Sandy were married in the Holy Spirit Church at New Farm on the 20th April 1974, followed by a reception in the local area. The marriage certificate now meant that Sandy could travel with Phil to Malaysia, but the RAAF still required all the necessary documentation to be in order so a quick exit was planned from Brisbane to get back to Williamtown as quickly as possible.


There was however a small impediment to this plan in the form of Cyclone Zoe, which had passed through Northern NSW a few days earlier. All the major coastal roads in the north of NSW were cut due to severe flooding, but the couple had unwisely driven the coastal route and became stranded. Out came the soggy road maps and finally with some back tracking and the help of secondary roads through the hills Williamtown was reached, albeit a couple of days late. After convincing the orderly room that the weather conditions were the cause of Phil being late returning to base and not the honeymoon, the rush continued to get ready for the uplift to Butterworth.  After selling their car and packing wedding gifts the couple finally left Williamtown on a bus destined for Sydney on about the 3rd May and then flew to Butterworth on a RAAF 707 charter.


The first few weeks in Penang were rather daunting for Sandy as it was a whole new experience for a 17 year old to be living in a foreign country.


Our home in

Jalan Hashim.


The allocated married quarters were at 515Y Jalan Hashim, which proved to be an idyllic location on the beach front and once friendships were established both Sandy and Phil both thoroughly enjoyed their time in Malaysia. All good things must come to an end and Phil was next posted to 486 Sqn at Richmond.


Sandy at the Crab Temple Tanjong Toking – 2011.


In 1979 Sandy became pregnant with their first child and the due date was a couple of weeks before Phil had elected to be discharged in May. This resulted in Phil travelling alone to Adelaide for discharge and Sandy flying over later with the new baby. The couple then settled in Yankalilla, SA where they established a business in 1984. Three more children arrived at regular 2 year intervals giving the couple 2 girls and 2 boys who now all have their own children. In 2004 a move was made to a 1 acre property in Normanville SA, which is now a social gathering point for their children and the 10 grandchildren.


Sandy is currently an avid gardener, enjoys travelling overseas and is almost a full time baby sitter as 8 of the 10 grandchildren live within 1 kilometre of her, and they are all under 8 years of age.



A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.



St Kilda – 1969.


The pic below was taken at a pub in St Kilda, Victoria, sometime around March 1969


Phil Palmer, Roy Holding, Graham Longton, Bill Johnson and Mark Gee.



11 RTC (Air)


This course, held at Ballarat, commenced on the 20th June 1955 and graduated on the 31st August 1956


Standing L-R:   ASA Mumford,  CJ Lacey,  GJT Craswell,  DM Horton,  Kev Carroll,  HG Howarth.

Seated L-R:   JB Aspinall,  DK Morgan,  RE Allan,  WD Brennan,  LL McLachlan.




A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, 'Everyone who thinks they're stupid, stand up!' After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, 'Do you think you're stupid, Larry?' 'No, ma'am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!'




Pay Section Darwin – 1988.


(The most important people on a RAAF Base)


L-R:  Grace Wilson, Bob Anderson, Peter Bick (back), Anne Bowzicky (probably spelt incorrectly), Nick (Tooth) Ranson (Deceased) (back), Roscoe Dann, Steve Sheppard (Back) and Col Price.


Little Larry watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. 'Why do you do that, mommy?' he asked. 'To make myself beautiful,' said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue.

'What's the matter, asked Larry 'Giving up?'




L-R:   Steve Sheppard, Nick Ranson, Anne Bowzicky, Roscoe Dann, Robyn Green, Peter Bick (hidden), Bob Anderson, Tooth and Roscoe, Grace Wilson and Col Price.



RAAF Truscott Club Boozer (Darwin) 1991.


L-R:   Chrissy Hart,  Glenn McCracken,  Randall Kronenburg,  Tracey Sinkinson.



Housing estate at RAAF Darwin,


In days gone by.







RAAF Base Darwin.





A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.



Darwin in the 1960’s.





Darwin Airport after Cyclone Tracy 1974.


Note the stream of buses coming and going with evacuees.


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