Vol 58

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In Memory of:




Jenny Gimm.


Ernie Gimm has advised that his lovely wife, Jenny, passed away peacefully at 10.30pm on the 2nd April.


Section Officer Jenny Hickey, as she was, married Ernie, a FSgt, in 1971 and because of the stupid laws in force back them, Jenny had to resign her commission. When they met, Jenny was the OIC WRAAF at MTU but after resigning and then marrying in Stanthorpe, they drove to RAAF Darwin to where Ernie had been posted and Jenny went back to her old profession of Radio Announcer on radio station 8DN. She later joined the Public Service with the Dept. of the Northern Territory. In 1973 Ernie was posted from Darwin to DTels in Canberra and Jenny transferred as a public servant to DTel Eng where she worked in the tech library. After Canberra, they were transferred to Butterworth then Wallgrove (now the site of the Eastern Creek Raceway), then in 1981, after Ernie took his discharge, they settled in Townsville where Jenny spent her time on various committees and on various golf courses.


Jenny was buried on Thursday 6th April at the Ryan Community Centre, Kirwan, Townsville. She was 79 years old.


A lovely lady, she will be sadly missed.




Barrie O’Callaghan


Barrie was a Sumpy from No1 Intake. Dick Tracy says “I worked with him during my early days at Sale. With the passing of Barney Collett, I was going to take Barrie O’Callaghan to his funeral. He wasn’t answering his phone so I drove around to be told by his next door neighbour that he had passed away. Searching shows that he passed away on the 12th of March this year. 


Unfortunately, we have no further details.


RIP Barrie”.




Cliff Collett.


“Dick” Tracy has advised that Clifford Edwin 'Barney' Collett  (06.08.1931 - 26.03.2017) had passed away in March.


Dick, who attended Cliff’s funeral (below) which was held on the 3rd April in Sunbury Vic. says there was a good representation of ex-apprentices with Anzac Fred Price, Graham ‘Chook’ Henry, John ‘Blue’ Leeden, Ian Smith, and Bill McGrath.  





Peter Denham.


Ken Seward has advised the passing of Peter Anthony Denham who passed away peacefully on the 29th March. Peter was a former WOFF Telstech at 3TU. His funeral was held on the 5th April at 10:30am at Midland in Western Australia.




Llewellyn CK Robb.


Warren Dickson advises the sad passing of another Beaver - that of Llewellyn C K Robb. Llew passed away on Monday 4th April 2017 and is the 20th Beaver (15 Appy) to have passed away.


Llew was born on 17th January 1945. He enlisted in the RAAF for 15 years’ service as an engineering apprentice on 17th January 1961 and began his 1st year apprenticeship in 2 Flight - the Kiwaroos.


Warren says:  “I didn't have much contact with Llew during our RAAF service as our paths seldom crossed, with one exception, that was at Butterworth when I used to go and watch the events of the RAAF Butterworth Motor Club, especially the hill climbs, which Llew not only participated in but also organised. However, 25 years ago when I moved to Canberra, I found the Llew lived only two suburbs away and our paths then crossed more regularly. Llew couldn't handle the computer world so I became his Beaver Buddy and delivered a copy of the Beavers Email whenever it came out. I also took it on myself to try and educate him on the mysteries of the computer - which he finally mastered and then when he discovered the Internet he was continually sending me "interesting" items with his particular twist and comments. He took me on a spin around Wakefield Park track in his Sunbeam Alpine a couple of times and scared the living daylights out of me. I always enjoyed those weekends at Wakefield. Llew was proud to be a Beaver and in his own little way wanted to do as much as he could whenever the reunions came around. For our 50th here in Canberra he was in his element when he proposed that we produce a commemorative reunion port which I was initially opposed to but which was amazingly successful not only for that reunion but for all the reunions since.


He classified himself as a semi-retired volunteer vehicle restoration person (you should see his shed!!) and did some fantastic work on all types of old vehicles, including Bob Menzies’ old Prime Ministerial staff car (Bentley – right), for the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum. He also loved his curry and he and I had regular curry lunches at various establishments around Canberra.


Not long after I moved to Canberra, Peggy Anderson organised for all the Canberra based Beavers to have a dinner together because Rob Wilson was visiting. I think Llew had a hand in assisting her with that event and from then on, Llew was always pushing for regular Canberra Beavers luncheon or dinner outings. We still meet regularly now with John Bone taking over to organisation matters. He was often difficult but always eager to help - a typical Beaver actually.


Peggy advised that he had been visiting someone and left the house and got into his car. When the person came out of the house they found Llew slumped over the steering wheel. It must have been a stroke or heart attack. What a way for a truckie to go.


Here are a few photos in memory of Llewellyn Robb. A good “Furry Dam-Worker”.


Warren Dickson and Llew at the port bottling for the Beavers 50th anniversary reunion. 2011.


L-R:   Dave Court, Dennis Stringfellow, Llew Robb, Russ Cross

all ready for the Wagga Freedom of the City Parade, 1961.


2011 - Llew at the AWM during the Beavers 50th anniversary reunion.

That jacket is the original one Llew got when he left Wagga in 1963.


2011 - Llew having a well-earned smoko at Ron and Gail's place

for the farewell function of the Beavers 50th anniversary reunion.


2015 - Llew at the Wakefield Parkway raceway

with his beloved Sunbeam Alpine which he used to race every 3 months.




Peter Ryan.


John Webster advised the passing of Peter Charles Ryan OAM who died on Thursday the 6th April 2017. Peter was a framie and served with 9 Sqn in Vietnam from 11/06/1968 to 05/06/1969. After he left the RAAF, he studied for and obtained a law degree and spent many years helping Vietnam Vets in and around the ACT. He was the president of the ACT chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association from 2003 to 2013.


Peter was born in 1946 in Mount Lawley, West Australia and joined the RAAF in 1965. After the RAAF, he settled in Canberra and worked in the printing industry and somehow found time for studies, obtaining both an arts degree and a law degree. About that time, he was diagnosed with heart disease and PTSD and finally was diagnosed with cancer which forced him to retire from most of his former roles.


He was buried on Tuesday the 18th April 2017 at the Anzac Memorial Chapel of St Paul at the RMC Duntroon in the ACT.




Dale Elizabeth Bradley.


Dale Bradley, who as Dale Arnold, joined the RAAF in 1992 and was on 1-92 Commsop Course, sadly left us on the 13th April 2017. Dale had an accident while diving at Woodman Point, 8 km south of Fremantle. She was pulled from the water unconscious and taken to hospital but sadly, did not revive. She was only 45 years old.


Dale left the RAAF in 2000 and joined the Computer Sciences Corporation in Perth WA to work on their IT Service Desk where she stayed until 2007 after which she was involved in many community service organisations.


You can see a Channel 9 news report HERE.




John “Lee” Scully.


Sadly “Lee” Scully, a recent Past President of the RAAF Vietnam Veterans Branch tragically lost his life while motor bike touring in the US.


Police in the US state of New Mexico are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash involving a 76-year-old Melbourne man. New Mexico state police Sergeant Cornell Evans says John Scully was on State Road 104, in a remote area in the northeast part of the state, when he lost control and crashed on Wednesday.  The Toorak man was pronounced dead at the scene.


"The only thing we know so far is he was with a tour group and he just ran off the road," Sergeant Evans said. "He was on a state highway near a little town called Conchas Dam, and it looks like he was going around a curb when he left the road."


Carl Schiller, OAM CSM, President, Air Force Association (Victorian Division) says:  “Lee was a highly respected gentleman who displayed a real sense of humanity. There’s no doubt he will be missed by all who knew him. I am very saddened by the news.


“Lee” served with RAAF Transport Flight in Vietnam from April 1965 to Dec 1965.


Click HERE to access a copy of the Memorial Service from Lee's funeral, and HERE to access the Eulogy written by "Rocky" Rockliff.




Jim Benson.


Noel Hadfield advises:  “Sadly, I have to inform you that Jim Benson died on the morning of the 22nd April.  His farewell was held at the Norwood Park Crematorium (Canberra) at 1030 on Monday 1st May.  He will be sadly missed.”




Baillie McKenny.


Back in Feb 1975, Sqn Ldr Baillie McKenny AFC, was the CO of the RAAF’s first detachment to the UN’s Military Observer Group in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Sadly, Baillie passed away on Thursday, 1 June, age 79. Baillie, who was 38SQN’s Operations Officer in the late 60's, early 70's had lived in Canberra from 1977 to 2013 when he moved to Adelaide.


His funeral service was held on Thursday, 8th June at the Uniting Church, in Westbourne Park SA (Adelaide).



Frederick John (Fred) Wrigley.


Fred Wrigley, a well-known and respected Radio Officer, and one time Commanding Officer of RAAF School of Radio, (15April 1975 – 17Jan 1978) died in Wangaratta (Vic) on the 3rd June 2017, aged 91.


His funeral service was held at the Mason Park Chapel in Wangaratta on Friday 9th June 2017.






Archie Gates.


John Stewart, the Secretary, 3 Telecommunication Unit Association, advises that Archie Gates passed away on the 23rd May. Arch was a much respected, long term member of 3TU and the 3TU Association. He will be sadly missed by many.  His funeral was held in Padbury WA on Tuesday 30th May.



Michael Dunne.


Ron Faulkner advises that Michael (Mick) Dunne passed away on Friday 16th June at the John Flynn Hospital Tugun (Qld). Michael's funeral was held at the Tweed Heads Chapel, 176 Kirkwood Road Tweed Heads South on Friday 23rd  June.




Graham Volker.


Col Coyne, the  President, 37 Squadron (RAAF) Association, advises with sadness the passing  of Graham Volker who died in Townsville on Tuesday 21 June 2017. Graham joined the RAAF in September 1959 as an airman in the equipment mustering. He later became a Loadmaster on C130's then took his commission as an Equipment Officer.


Graham left the PAF in April 1984 and continued to serve in the Active Reserve at 27SQN Townsville. He also served as Officer Commanding 1 Wing Air Training Corp and was instrumental in establishing the Townsville Branch of the RAAF Association in 1990.


Graham's funeral service was held at the Woongarra Crematorium Townsville on Monday 26 June 2017.  Rest in Peace Graham and thank you for your service.


The committee and members of the No. 37 Squadron (RAAF) Association pass on their sincere condolences to Elaine and family. Graham converted to Loadmaster at 36SQN on C-130As prior to posting to 37SQN. He flew 19 C-130E tasks to Vietnam between November 1967 and October 1971, prior to commissioning, retiring at the rank of Squadron Leader.




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