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News and Reunions!




The 100 year Anniversary of the RAAF.


Back in January 1920, the Australian Flying Corps became the Australian Air Corps which, on the 31st March 1921, became the Australian Air Force. It obtained the King's consent to become the Royal Australian Air Force on the 13th August 1921.



On the 13th August 2021, the RAAF will be 100 years old and as the RAAF was born at Pt Cook, we think it would be a golden opportunity to hold a giant celebration in Melbourne and to invite everyone who spent time at Pt Cook and/or Laverton. And - as we're a Radschool Association, the invite would also include anyone who was trained in the radio game, whether tech or operator, at either Ballarat, Frognall or Laverton and of course the trainers as well as all the support staff. The invitation would also include your wife, girl-friend, husband, boy-friend (or all of the above). We're all getting on a bit and this might be our last hurrah, so we'll make it a good one.


The 13th August 2021 is a Friday, so we think we should plan for at least a week-long event centred around the 13th.  There will be lots of events so start putting away your pennies now, we’ll need confirmation of your attendance, and as we’ll need to pay deposits etc we'll need your full payment some months prior to August 2021.


For those that live north of the Murray, the weather in Melbourne in August is not conducive with sunbaking - warm clothing would definitely be recommended. You can see average Melbourne weather at that time HERE. It's a pity the AAF didn't become the RAAF in a warmer month.


We’ll have an indication of costs later, but these won’t include accommodation which will be your responsibility. As some people live in the area, some will come by van or mobile home, others stay with friends and some will stay in motel/hotel accommodation, individual accommodation costs are a variable so not included.


We've commenced negotiations with the RAAF for access to Laverton or Pt Cook, (we don't have it yet) as we'd like to have the main events in (perhaps) the old ARDU or 1 AD hangars at Laverton or in one of the hangars at Pt Cook - it will all depend on what is still available in 2021.


It's still a few years away but these things take time to organise. We are going to chase sponsorship to keep our costs down - more on that later. We think we'll need to organise for at least 1,000 people so there's a bit to do. Make sure you tell your friends, we want as many people as possible, the more the merrier.


Let us know what you think. The events we have planned you can see below but we need to know what you think.  We've booked the Myer Music Bowl for the Sunday the 15th (a pleasant Sunday afternoon) and we're negotiating with the RAAF, Army and Navy to have their bands entertain us during the day. We're also proposing an "Air Force has talent" contest where several serving pre-auditioned members will vie for a cash prize and we're negotiating with a Melbourne TV channel which will televise all or part of the Music Bowl event - this will make it easier to obtain a sponsor to cover all the costs - so it will be free.


If you don't normally get the RAM, but would like to be involved, click HERE, fill in this general form and once we have your email address we'll include you in all future mail-outs.


We have some ideas but to get an idea of your thoughts, would you fill in the fields in the form below and send to us, there will be much more detail later. (Use your TAB button to navigate from one field to the next.)




You can access the celebration form HERE and if you have any queries, you can get in touch with us HERE.




If you don't love your job - take a home loan.  You'll start loving it.

Take another loan.  You'll start loving your boss as well.

Get married. You'll start to love your office too.




Ex and Serving ADF Aviation Personnel,


All ex and Serving ADF Aviation Personnel are invited to participate in a Remembrance and Wreath laying ceremony being held at the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra Airport on Friday the 3rd November 2017, at the Caribou A4-173 ex RTFV/35Sqn (Wallaby Airlines) Vung Tau.


The service will start at 1030 hrs.


The Remembrance service will be to mark the remembrance of all RAAF, Army and Navy Aviation personnel who served in units and Squadrons involved in the Vietnam War and other theatres of war as well as Peacekeeping and Peacemaking and all home based Service.


Padre Fry  will lead the service in prayer and following the Ceremony there will be a morning tea provided.


It is hoped you are able to participate and if so, could you please RSVP, Attention Mal Sayers Secretary, by the 25th October 2017.


Email secretaryvvaasc@gmail.com  or phone 0423 861 024




Djinnang (Qld) annual Get-Together 2018 – new venue.


Gail McDermott, the Djinnang’s hard working secretary, advises that the 2018 get together will be held at a new site, across the road from where it was held earlier this year.



The new site is the Hotel Jen (the old Travelodge) and the date is the 26th May 2018.


It is located next to the Roma Street Transit Centre and those flying in can catch the sky train directly from the airport to the Roma St. Transit Centre.  The function will be held in the Fraser Room (located on Level 5) which includes a wraparound balcony (smoking is permitted in a small area on the balcony).


For those attending, a special accommodation deal has been booked in a block of rooms. Cost per room per night is $165 including a full buffet breakfast for 1 person or $185 per room per night with full buffet breakfast for 2 people. If you don't wish to have breakfast included, deduct $20 per person from that price.


You MUST use this code when booking "DJI260518" (which is short for Djinnang Assoc. 26 May 2018) and you MUST phone to book your room between 8.00am and 5pm Monday to Friday in order to get this deal. Phone number for the Hotel is 07 3238 2222 and ask for Reservations. Don’t ring and book on a weekend as you will not get through to the actual Hotel and you won’t get the special deal.


If you’re driving, there is a discounted parking rate of $36 per day (subject to availability), alternatively you can go online at Secure Parking and see if they can offer a better price. There are no stairs at this venue and restrooms are located on the same level.


Patrons will be entitled to 1 free drink and platters of food will be served throughout the afternoon. A coffee/tea station will be set up at no cost to patrons. Dinner is available downstairs in the restaurant if required.


There will be a cover charge the same as this year's reunion. $20 for non-perpetual members and $10 for perpetual members.




One of the many things no one tells you about ageing

is that it is such a nice change from being young.




ADF Suicide Rates.



ADF Veteran’ Suicide, 01 Jan 2017 to date:




Running tally, Jan 2001 thru 31 July 2017:






The analysis of circumstances surrounding the suicides of serving and former ADF members, compiled by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), shows young men leaving the Army are among the most vulnerable.


Between 2001 and 2015 there were 325 certified suicide deaths among people who served in the ADF with discharged men under 24 as the most at-risk age group. These men were twice as likely to die by suicide as young men in the general Australian population.


There were certain groups at a high risk of suicide as well as that age group — they were those who had served in the ADF for less than a year, and those that were discharged involuntarily.


The report focuses on servicemen, as while incidence of women who had served in the ADF taking their own lives was recorded, there was not enough data to form solid conclusions.


While those currently in the Defence Force saw lower rates of suicide than men in the broader population, ex-servicemen were 14 per cent more likely to take their own lives. Neil James from the Australia Defence Association said the report showed not all discharged members were finding the help they needed.


If you or anyone you know needs help:



Lifeline on 13 11 14


Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467



Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800


Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36



MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978


Headspace on 1800 650 890



Psychological care people get in the Defence Force is still pretty good, however, the problem with the post-service suicide rate is once you're discharged you're no longer the responsibility of the Department of Defence. This is where the problem occurs, people are still slipping through the cracks so the interaction of Defence Force healthcare and post-Defence Force healthcare through [Department of Veterans Affairs] and in some cases Comcare, has to be knitted together a lot better.


It appears those who were medically discharged from the Defence Force were also at risk and it is not because of depression or PTSD resulting from war service. One of the things that it does point out is that people who are young and involuntarily discharged from the Defence Force on medical grounds are significantly more likely to commit suicide – why this is so is still unknown.


Neil James said "I don't think anyone really knows how you fix it, but certainly putting a lot more time, effort, and resources into it would help’. Perhaps many ADF members and veterans have not sought assistance because they feared doing so might restrict their career opportunities.




 Experience is an awful teacher which ends up sending horrifying bills.





26 Radio Appy reunion.


The 45th anniversary reunion of the 26 intake RAAF radio Apprentices will be held on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 27 - 29 October, 2017. The function will be held at the Maroochy RSL with a bus trip to the hinterland also organised. All members who joined the intake are encouraged to contact the organiser Peter "Pygmy" McAndrew on 07 5444 6165.




27 RAAF Apprentice Intake.


A 45th anniversary reunion of the 27th intake RAAF Apprentices will be held on the Gold Coast in 2018 and Martin "Dutchy" Holland is seeking all original members of the intake, which formed at Wagga in January 1973 to contact him on 07 5522 2255




RAAF Engineering Apprentices and J.E.A.T. Reunion.  2018.


(J.E.A.T. – Junior Equipment and Administrative Trainees.)


If you were an Appy or a J.E.A.T. and spent some of your early years at Wagga, then block out the dates 23rd to 27th April, 2018 as there will be a reunion at Wagga to which you should attend.


The following has been planned:





What’s on

Monday 23rd

10.00am – 4.00pm

Commercial Club

Registrations etc

   “  “

5.00pm to late

Equex Sports Centre

Welcome, BBQ

Tuesday 24th

Rest day,  sight-seeing.

Wednesday 25th


Dawn service, Victory memorial Gardens

   “  “


Anzac Day March, - Cnr Baylis St and Morgan St

Thursday 26th

6.00pm – mid-night

Kyeamba Smith Hall

Official Function

Friday 27th


Equex Sports Centre

Sick parade (Breakfast)


If you intend attending, click HERE, download the form, fill it in and sent off.




35 Sqn 75th Anniversary.


Eamon Hamilton (right) advises a function will be held to celebrate the 75th anniversary of No. 35 Squadron (35SQN). It will be held on the 15th September 2017 in Sydney’s northwest and will be an opportunity for past and present members of 35SQN to reunite and celebrate the unit’s history.


Commanding Officer of 35SQN, WGCDR Jarrod Pendlebury, said the function was open for all past members of the unit, along with those with a strong association to 35SQN.


“There’s been a strong spirit of camaraderie fostered within 35SQN’s ranks throughout our history, and it’s something we are keen to grow with the current generation. All those who have been posted to ‘Wallaby Airlines’ are part of a rich and unique history, which will be celebrated at this function.”


Established on the 11th March 1942 as one of the RAAF’s original four transport units, 35SQN had humble origins at RAAF Base Pearce. It flew an odd assortment of small twin-engine transports, carrying up to eight passengers at a time, on missions across Australia. By the war’s end, it was flying the ubiquitous C-47 Dakota transport on missions into New Guinea and the then Dutch East Indies, before disbanding in June 1946.


The delivery of the DHC-4 Caribou in 1964 – coupled with the type’s deployment to Vietnam that same year – would signal the second coming of 35SQN. In 1966, the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam was re-designated 35SQN, although it was popularly known by then as ‘Wallaby Airlines. Following Vietnam, 35SQN operated from RAAF Bases Richmond and then Townsville, where it was again disestablished in 1999.


For much of 35SQN’s time in Townsville, the unit was the only RAAF flying squadron to be equipped with both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft – it had the Caribou and Iroquois aircraft.



35Sqn now lives at Richmond and flies the new C-27 Spartan aircraft. Shortly (2019) it will up stakes and move to Amberley which will leave an awful lot of room at Richmond for the 12 J model Hercs of 37 Sqn – they could nearly have a hangar each.


Past members of 35SQN, and others with an association with the squadron, are invited to contact ric35sqn75th.birthday@defence.gov.au.




2018 East Sale Reunion.


Next year’s reunion for those that were posted to East Sale will be held in Adelaide (Venue to be advised shortly) over the weekend Friday 19th October 2018 to Sunday 21st October 2018. The Calendar is as follows:


Friday 19th October 2018

Meet, Greet and Welcome on Friday afternoon / evening for those who arrive on Friday.


Saturday 20th October 2018


Reunion Dinner Saturday night Venue TBA. Saturday activities of choice to be advised.


Sunday 21st October 2018

Farewell Breakfast Sunday morning at the Venue TBA.


Available accommodation and activities for the venue area and surrounding area will be advised shortly.


If you have any questions please contact:

Ian Shaughnessy               Email: bprince1@internode.on.net




The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for,

mostly because we forget what we were waiting for in the first place.




Climate Change – Again!!


A number of people sent us this, Miranda Devine had it in the West Australian a couple of years back (on the 5th October 2015) – what we ask is, if this is for real, why is the Climate Change farce still alive??


The story:


Perth electrical engineer’s discovery will change climate change debate.


A mathematical discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris (30 November – 12 December 2015).


Dr David Evans, a former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.


Dr David Evans with wife Jo


He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly. He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.


It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says. “Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the IPCC says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20 per cent of the global warming in the last few decades”.


Dr Evans says his discovery “ought to change the world”. “But the political obstacles are massive,” he said.


His discovery explains why none of the climate models used by the IPCC reflect the evidence of recorded temperatures. The models have failed to predict the pause in global warming which has been going on for 18 years and counting.


“The model architecture was wrong,” he says. “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.” There is another problem with the original climate model, which has been around since 1896. While climate scientists have been predicting since the 1990s that changes in temperature would follow changes in carbon dioxide, the records over the past half million years show that not to be the case.


So, the new improved climate model shows CO2 is not the culprit in recent global warming. But what is?


Dr Evans has a theory: solar activity. What he calls “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun, is the likely cause of global warming. He predicts global temperatures, which have plateaued, will begin to cool significantly, beginning between 2017 and 2021. The cooling will be about 0.3C in the 2020s. Some scientists have even forecast a mini ice age in the 2030s. If Dr Evans is correct, then he has proven the theory on carbon dioxide wrong and blown a hole in climate alarmism. He will have explained why the doomsday predictions of climate scientists aren’t reflected in the actual temperatures.


“It took me years to figure this out, but finally there is a potential resolution between the insistence of the climate scientists that CO2 is a big problem, and the empirical evidence that it doesn’t have nearly as much effect as they say.”


Dr Evans is an expert in Fourier analysis and digital signal processing, with a PhD, and two Masters degrees from Stanford University in electrical engineering, a Bachelor of Engineering (for which he won the University medal), Bachelor of Science, and Masters in Applied Maths from the University of Sydney. He has been summarising his results in a series of blog posts on his wife Jo Nova’s blog for climate sceptics. He is about half way through his series, with blog post 8, “Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to Earth”, published on Friday. When it is completed his work will be published as two scientific papers. Both papers are undergoing peer review.


“It’s a new paradigm,” he says. “It has several new ideas for people to get used to.”


BUT – we also get stories like this:


Has the Arctic sea ice recovered?


Those who have been following NSIDC and JAXA sea ice plots have noted that this has been an extraordinary year (2015) so far, with Arctic sea ice hitting the “normal” line on some datasets.


Discussions about the amount of sea ice in the Arctic often confuse two very different measures of how much ice there is. One measure is sea-ice extent which, as the name implies, is a measure of coverage of the ocean where ice covers 15% or more of the surface. It is a two-dimensional measurement; extent does not tell us how thick the ice is. The other measure of Arctic ice, using all three dimensions, is volume, the measure of how much ice there really is.


Sea-ice consists of first-year ice, which is thin, and older ice which has accumulated volume, called multi-year ice. Multi-year ice is very important because it makes up most of the volume of ice at the North Pole. Volume is also the important measure when it comes to climate change, because it is the volume of the ice – the sheer amount of the stuff – that science is concerned about, rather than how much of the sea is covered in a thin layer of ice.


Over time, sea ice reflects the fast-changing circumstances of weather. It is driven principally by changes in surface temperature, forming and melting according to the seasons, the winds, cloud cover and ocean currents. In 2010, for example, sea ice extent recovered dramatically in March, only to melt again by May.


Sea-ice is subject to powerful short-term effects so while we can't conclude anything about the health of the ice from just a few years' data, an obvious trend emerges over the space of a decade or more, showing a decrease of about 5% of average sea-ice cover per decade.


Where has the thick ice gone?


When we consider the multi-year ice and look at the various measurements of it, we see a steep decline in this thick ice. As you might imagine, thick ice takes a lot more heat to melt, so the fact that it is disappearing so fast is of great concern.


It is clear from the various data sets, terrestrial and satellite, that both the sea ice extent and multi-year ice volume are reducing. Sea ice extent recovered slightly during the Arctic winters of 2008-09, but the full extent of annual ice reduction or gain is seen in September of each year, at the end of the Arctic summer. The volume of multi-year ice has not recovered at all, and is showing a steeply negative trend.


Footnote: Although a thin layer of ice doesn’t tell us much about the overall state of ice loss at the Arctic, it does tell us a great deal about Albedo, the property of ice to reflect heat back into space. When the sea ice diminishes, more heat passes into the oceans. That heat melts the thick ice and speeds up the melting of thinner sea ice, which in turns allows more heat to accumulate in the oceans.



It seems to us that while there is no argument that the earth’s climate is changing, as it always has, what is in dispute is the cause of the change – who knows what to believe.   tb.




Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.




Caribou unveiled at Philip Island.


National Vietnam Veterans Museum.


The National Vietnam Veterans Museum (NVVM), which is situated on Philip Island (Vic), just next to the airfield on the main Phillip Island Road, is an independent Australian museum dedicated to the heritage and legacy of Vietnam veterans. Major Gary “Gus” Parker (right) (since deceased) was instrumental in founding the museum which was built by Vietnam veterans to help and support fellow veterans cope better with their experiences during the Vietnam War (1962-1975) and after their return to Australia.


The NVVM offers an authentic experience. From the moving ‘Light and Sound Show’, through the galleries showing the experience of veterans in the Vietnam War and from the words of the veterans themselves, the NVVM provides visitors with a fascinating, emotional, rewarding and educational journey through the tumultuous years of the Vietnam conflict. The museum mixes remembrance and reflection with a unique museum environment.


At the museum a few years back, two old Ex Army Engineer mates who did a tour of Vietnam, L-R: Geoff Spackman who served from Sept 1965 to Sept 1966 and Gary “Gus” Parker who served from Dec 1969 to Dec 1970.  See HERE


A huge collection of artefacts, including helicopters, vehicles and aircraft, interpreted with information, imagery and audio will keep you, your family and friends engaged for the length of your visit. You will even see the conscription ballot balls used in the system of National Service that divided our nation.


On Saturday, the 5th August 2017, the Museum proudly unveiled its latest exhibit, Caribou A4-231. Everyone was invited to take part in the significant occasion and to commemorate the first flight of the Caribou on the 8th August, 1964, into Vung Tau, Vietnam, by RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam which later became 35 Squadron.


After the Caribous were retired form service in 1999 (see HERE) a number of them were flown to the Army base at Oakey (west of Toowoomba) for storage until they could be sold to interested parties. 2 were set aside for restoration to air worthiness condition with the remainder being reserved for static display at various museums round Australia.



After years of “haggling”, the aircraft were finally put up for tender with A4-231, which was taken on strength with the RAAF back in June 1965, sold to the Museum in Nov 2015, 50 years after it started work.


After months of hard work by the Museum’s restorations team, guided by Colin Grey OAM, the museums restorations manager, the aircraft was finally put on display.


Click the pic below to see a Channel 7 news items of the aircraft being delivered to the museum.




The Museum is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm except for Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.


Entry costs are:







Child (5-15 years)




Family (2 Adults, 3 Children)




Concession/Aged Pensioners /Vietnam Veterans




Pre-booked Groups

$10.00 per head



Pre-booked School Groups

$8.00 per head



Contact details are:   25 Veterans Drive, Newhaven, Phillip Island, VIC. 3925.

Phone 03 5956 6400


Guided tours are available for groups.


The Nui Dat Cafe is available for refreshments – a choice of delicious home baked cakes, light lunches and daily specials are on the menu.




Eventually you reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it. It’s great to hear them say

"you don't look that old."




P3 Orion.


The P-3 Orion Research Group's website has been updated, new issues of the P-3 Orion Aircraft Location and Aircraft Location History Reports as well as an updated news section have just been uploaded at www.p3orion.nl.




The demise of a legend.


Pan Am, the once mighty airline, with a brand as well known as Coca Cola, Marlboro and or Disney disappeared from our skies in 1991.



Founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service operating between Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba, the airline became a major company credited with many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets, and computerized reservation systems. It was also a founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry association.


Identified by its blue globe logo ("The Blue Meatball"), the use of the word "Clipper" in aircraft names and call signs and the white pilot uniform caps, the airline was a cultural icon of the 20th century. In an era dominated by flag carriers that were wholly or majority government-owned, it was also the unofficial overseas flag carrier of the United States. During most of the jet era, Pan Am's flagship terminal was the Worldport located at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.



Pan American Airways, Incorporated (PAA) was founded as a shell company on the 14th March, 1927 by Air Corps Majors Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Carl A. Spaatz, and John H. Jouett as a counterbalance to the German-owned Colombian carrier SCADTA, which had operated in Colombia since 1920. SCADTA lobbied hard for landing rights in the Panama Canal Zone, ostensibly to survey air routes for a connection to the United States, which the Air Corps viewed as a precursor to a possible German aerial threat to the canal. Arnold and Spaatz drew  up the prospectus for Pan American when SCADTA hired a company in Delaware to obtain air mail contracts from the U.S. government. Pan American was able to obtain the U.S. mail delivery contract to Cuba, but lacked any aircraft to perform the job and did not have landing rights in Cuba. It overcame this “minor” disadvantage by merging with American International Airways, a small airline established in 1926, which had a seaplane service from Key West, Florida, to Havana.


The U.S. government approved the original Pan Am's mail delivery contract with little objection, out of fears that SCADTA would have no competition in bidding for routes between Latin America and the United States. The government further helped Pan Am by insulating it from its U.S. competitors, seeing the airline as the "chosen instrument" for U.S.-based international air routes. The airline expanded internationally, benefiting from a virtual monopoly on foreign routes.


From its humble beginnings, Pan Am became a world monolith in the Aviation industry but like others before it, Continental and Ansett as examples, it died a messy death. Click the pic below to see the life and death of a major airline.





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