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In Memory of:




Martin Lunn.


Bernie Culey advises that Martin died on the morning of the 1st October at Greenslopes Hospital in Brisbane after a year’s battle with pancreatic cancer which eventually spread throughout his body. “Spike” as he was known to most people, graduated from 63 Teleg’s course. In 1962, following a stint at 3 Telu at Pearce he spent 3 years at Little Sai Wan Hong Kong.


He left the RAAF in 1967 and established his own Cold Room manufacturing business and the name” Hales and Lunn” can be seen on many a cold room door throughout Australia.


His funeral Mass was held at St Catherine's, Moggill, on Wednesday, 11th October.




Wal Curtis.


We heard from Clare Curtis, she said:  “Wal passed away on the 22nd April 2012, and was given a Guard of Honour by 79Sqn Ubon Group, it was very moving, and I often still think of it. I must apologise, I thought back in 2012 when I was notifying all who knew Wal that I had covered all his known contacts. Unfortunately, I am not a lover of the month of April, Wal's passing, then ANZAC day and his birthday 26th April. They say time heals, but I still have to deal with it. Both Wal and I always attended the Dawn Service, until he could no longer deal with it.


I still have contact with the guys from 79Sqn, the Gunnies and the gang from RAEME (Army).”




AVM (Retd) Brenton Espeland.


Carl Schiller advises the passing of AVM (Retd) Brent Espeland, AM, National President of the Air Force Association.


Brent passed away peacefully on the 29th September following a short battle with cancer. He was a distinguished leader with high personal values and a compassionate heart. He had a leadership style that encouraged people to work with him. He was concerned with veterans’ welfare and worked in a voluntary capacity in many organisations where he could contribute to achieving better outcomes for all veterans, regardless of Service. Despite his illness, Brent continued to work in this capacity whenever he could.


The world has lost a great man, but he will not be forgotten by those who shared his life with him. He will be sorely missed and I, along with all of you, pass my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this eminent and humble Australian.


Brent was given a Service Funeral with full military honours at St Peter’s Cathedral Adelaide on Tuesday 10th October.  Click HERE to read his Obituary.




Chaplain Steve Box.


Richard Orr writes:  “Many of you may have met Chaplain Air Commodore (Retd) Steve Box while in the RAAF, particularly if you worked or lived at RAAF Laverton. Sadly, Steve passed away early on Thursday 5th of October. His funeral was held at St Luke's Anglican Church, in Frankston (Vic) on Monday 16th October. He is fondly remembered by those who happened to hear him, with wit and good humour, say Grace at dinning-in nights or on other occasions".


Not surprisingly, the RAAF was heavily involved in organising his funeral service.




Mick Rice.


Mick Rice, who lived in Kallista in Victoria, died on the 28 Sept 2017.  Sorry, no further details.




Michael Noel O'Burtill.


John Taylor advises the passing of an old mate, Mick O’Burtill. John says: “Mike passed away peacefully in the Heathcote (Vic) Nursing Home on the 23rd September 2017 aged 84 years.


L-R:  John Taylor, Mick O’Burtill.


He and I joined the RAAF as Radio Apprentices almost at the start of the RAAF Apprentice scheme in 1949 (Intake #3), spending time at Frognall, Melbourne Tech and Radschool at Ballarat. Mike and I were very keen on Amateur Radio as a hobby initially at VK3APP the Apprentices station, which incidentally led us willingly along the path to a lifetime of aviation electronics.


Although in different years, Mike and I served in Japan and Korea with the RAAF.  Mike remustered to aircrew upon return to Australia eventually retiring to join the old Department of Civil Aviation, teaching incoming enlistees.


He retired to live out his time in Heathcote in mid Victoria after raising a family of four with his dear wife May. Amateur Radio then took a lot of his time and "three Willie Willie" was active almost each day on 40 and 80 passing the time of day with regular skeds and a bunch of on-air mates for many years.  One of his last comments before going into care at Heathcote was that his antennas were not working as they should have during his on-air time and he was unable to climb up to fix them.


Mike is survived by his beloved May and their four children along with eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


A Thanksgiving for Mike’s life was held in the Heathcote RSL Hall, in Heathcote on Tuesday 3rd October after which the funeral cortege left for the Heathcote Lawn Cemetery.


Silent Key -  Mike O'Burtill  VK3WW”




Ralph Crawford.


Tony Smith advises the passing of Ralph Crawford on the 15th September at 7.00am. Ralph was Telegraphist and a mate for 53 years and spent his last days in an aged care facility in Hobart. He was a W/O Senior instructor at Radschool Laverton at the end of his RAAF career. I will miss him deeply.




Konrad Iglewski.


Steve Beckwith has advised that ex WOFF Kon Iglewski passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon 27th October at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after a long battle with illness. He was only 66 years old. Kon was a great leader and mentor in his field and was held in high regard by all who knew him. His funeral was held on Thurs 02nd Nov at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Springvale (Vic). RIP Kon.




Bede Mecham.


John Steward advises the sad news that Bede passed away at 0200 on the 5th November.  His funeral was held on Saturday 11th November at Pinnaroo Valley. Padbury, WA.



Barry Redshaw.


John Sambrooks advises the sad news that Barry Redshaw had passed away on the 5th November. He was 78years old and had liver cancer. Barry was a Framie and served with 35Sqn in Vietnam from June 1967 to June 1968. Barry’s funeral was held at Sylvan Funerals, Ipswich on Monday 13th November 2017.




Alexander McFarlane McKinlay.


We have been advised that Alex McKinlay passed away on 2nd November 2017, aged 70. Alex’s funeral was held on Friday the 10th November at the Foster Lawn Cemetery (Vic).




Neelie Kuiper.


Lyn Mitchell advises us that Neelie, who was well known through WRAAF circles, passed away on 31st October. Neelie was at 1SD and 81 Fighter Wing at Williamtown and was the first WRAAF to do long haul drives and the first WRAAF to drive a 3 ton truck. She was a lovely lady and all of us who passed by her way respected her. RIP Neelie.






Warren Hall.


We have received advice that Warren Hall has passed away and that a Memorial Service was held for him at the Springwood Church of Christ, Springwood (Qld) on Wednesday 15th November 2017. He was 80 years old. Warren was a Radio Tech. (Air) in 1967 and was on the ground at Phan Rang to meet the Canberra’s as they flew in from Butterworth in April 1967. He served in Phan Rang from April 1967 to March 1968.


Unfortunately, we do not have a date of death.




Brian Kennedy


Neil Hunter advises the passing of Brian Kennedy on the 22 November, 2017. Brian was on 1TTC from 1961 to 1962.  His funeral was held at the Altona Memorial Park Crematorium, Doherty's Rd, Altona North on Thursday 30 November.




Ray Smyth.


A lot of RAAF aircrew that flew in PNG in the mid to late 1970’s, particularly in the Madang FIA, would remember hearing the Scottish flavoured voice of Ray Smyth on HF and on 122.1. Ray and family arrived in Madang in 1974 and after being rated, spent several years steering aircraft in and out of some very inhospitable aerodromes, situated in some very inhospitable places through at times some very inhospitable weather. Completely unflappable, Ray could have up to 30 active aircraft at any one time and without the help of radar or in most instances any nav aid at all, managed to keep his aircraft from banging into each other and from bumping into solid clouds – at all times with the appearance of Joe Cool.


After work, when most of us would prefer to just veg out, Ray and wife Sheila, both of whom were talented musicians, would don the guitars and entertain the troops at the Madang Club.


Sadly, it can be no more. Ray passed away on the 21st November, 2017 after suffering a series of severe strokes – he was aged 78.


Ray was born in 1939 in Glasgow in Scotland. With war underway, he and his mum were evacuated to the Western Scottish Highlands for the duration of the war. When he left school, he took an apprenticeship as an electrician, then was nashoed into the UK Army as a signal-man, serving in Kenya (Mau Mau uprising) and Kuwait. In 1966, he and family emigrated to Australia and Ray joined the (then) DCA. In 1974, after being trained in Sydney, he was posted to Madang where the family stayed until the early 1980's after which he was posted back to Rockhampton.


In 1990 he left DCA and moved to Nanango, about 2˝ north west of Brisbane where he stayed for the remainder of his life.


Ray was buried in Nanango on the 30th November.


Farewell mate!!




Barnett Fredrick Charles (Barney) Blundell.


Garry Smith advises the sad news that “Barney” Blundell has passed away. Garry says:  “A couple of days before ANZAC Day 2017 Barney and I were on Toronto (NSW) Golf course when he suffered a severe stroke. The blood clots causing the stroke impacted both brain hemispheres but the right hand one was worse and so he was not able to function at all on his left side. There were also some limitations on his right side. Despite the best efforts of the John Hunter hospital stroke unit there was nothing that current medical technology could do to fix the problems. Barney was a fighter, he was moved to a high care nursing home and struggled to overcome his condition – to no avail, 7 months later he succumbed, on the 16th November Barney died.


I have many memories of Barney going back 64 years, we first met in October 1953 at the Degraves Street RAAF recruiting centre in Melbourne. The next meeting was in March 1954 when we were inducted into the RAAF and assigned to the same hut at RAAF station Frognal. We were members of No 8 Radio Apprentice Course.

Barney, 1954.


We were involved together in all the sporting activities at Frognal but when we graduated Barney was assigned to the ground mustering whereas I became an air technician. This, at first sent us in different directions, but in 1958 we both wound up at RAAF Butterworth, him at BSBUT me at No 2 SQN. Barney made a temporary return to Australia in 1959 to stand beside me at my wedding, he was my first choice as best man, and he did it well. However, further postings had us at quite different bases. During his career, Barney served at ARDU, BSBUT, BSFBN, HQSC and, surprisingly for a RADTECH, at No1 Central Ammunition Depot (1CAMD). Whilst there, Barney was attached to the USA for advanced training on Torpedo Mk 44 systems. Fifteen years in the service and the thought of more time at HQSC saw Barney opt for discharge. He left the RAAF in July 1969 as a FSGT and that was a loss for the Service. He started with AAP Reuters in Sydney.


He proved his worth to that organisation, and was soon given a management role, then rose to become a director of one of the Australian arms of Reuter involved in telecommunications. In the following years we maintained occasional contact as I stayed in the Service and moved around regularly. During my posting to Washington DC in 1982, Barney arrived on an assignment for his firm and we had a few days showing him around the tourist spots.


Our next regular contact was after I retired from the RAAF in 1993, and moved to the beautiful City of Lake Macquarie on NSW coast, south of Newcastle. A few years later Barney started to wind down his activities with Reuters, and chose to retire to the same part of the world. Good choice Barney!


Garry and Barney (right), Washington 1982.


Barney became very involved with the Swansea RSL sub branch, and as is his way, started to bring pressure on me to become an active member rather than just a member as I had been since my transfer from the Penrith sub branch. Barney’s major achievement at the Swansea sub branch was pushing ahead with the project to obtain a grant and then, with it, establish a very special ANZAC Memorial on the foreshore at Swansea in time for the centenary of ANZAC in 2015.


ANZAC Day, Swansea. 2015

    Dawn Service, 2015


The Frognall Rugby team circa 1955, we missed out on the Grand Final 12-10 against Navy. Navy scored zero tries but 4 field goals kicked by an Aussie rules full back who was a national serviceman and was contracted to a VFL team.


Frognall scored 2 converted tries (only 5 points each in those days) WE WAS ROBBED! Barney (LHS) and I are first two on the left, seated.


A/App Barney preparing to climb Mount Baw Baw in March 1955.



He was a great mate and will be sadly missed.”





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