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News and Reunions!





Service of Commemoration for Bomber Command.


On Sunday, 03 June 2018, the RAAF at Amberley hosted its annual Commemoration for those brave young men who fought and lost their lives in Bomber Command during World War 2. RAAF Base Amberley is the only place in Australia outside Canberra and Melbourne (Shrine of Rembrance) that has a Bomber Command commemoration and the only one held on an air base. Thanks to Air Commodore Ken Robinson, CSC, OC at Amberley, for hosting the event.




John Lunn, ex 12 Sqn Framie, organised a group from the Kedron Wavell RSL Sub-Branch, including several students from local High Schools, to attend the event and all travelled out in two of the Sub-Branch’s mini vans.


The event was held in the Memorial Gardens, just prior to the old entrance to the base and where Canberra A84-201 has sat for many years. 201 was one of the first Canberras built at Avalon and was delivered to the RAAF back in 1953.


The RAAF had set up several shade giving blue gazebos and many rows of plastic chairs for the hundred or so people who attended. Gary Ilton (Wng Cdr ret’d) was kept busy directing people to seats and handing out water and a dozen or so RAAF blokes and blokettes willingly (??) gave up their Sunday and directed people to the correct areas of the base and kept wanderers at bay. Amberley is the RAAF’s largest and most secure Base, entry is very restricted.




Singers from the Blackstone-Ipswich Cambrian choir, along with the RAAF Amberley Band, provided the music.



MC for the day was once again expertly and professionally provided by Sqn Ldr Paul Lineham (ret’d). Paul has conducted these Ceremonies for  some years now and until recently was the well-known and well liked Regional Manager of Defence Public Affairs for Brisbane. Now, without the constraints of the uniform, he can sport his preferred goatie.



During the Second World War, Britain’s Royal Air Force was divided into a number of functional and geographic commands in line with an organisation that had first been implemented in 1936. Bomber Command was based in Great Britain and was responsible for bombing targets in enemy-controlled Europe. At the height of its operations in late 1944, Bomber Command comprised over 80 operational squadrons. These squadrons were organised into several groups on the basis of their role, the type of aircraft they operated, and the locations of the airfields from which they operated. In 1939 these groups were numbered 2-5 and by the end of the war Bomber Command comprised 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Canadian), 8 (Pathfinder), 91, 92 and 93 (Training) groups and 100 (Special Duties).


Approximately 10,000 RAAF personnel served with Bomber Command and 3,486 were killed. The Commemoration was to remember, to honour and to recognise the sacrifice and service of those air and ground crew members who served with pride and distinction in Bomber Command 1939-1945. We must remember with gratitude and sorrow those who have died in service, and those who have served and are no longer with us.


How they got those young blokes back into one of those aircraft after their first sortie is beyond me.


One of those young blokes was Laurie Woods, Laurie, originally from a little town called Deloraine in Tasmania, was a Navigator/Bomb Aimer. He joined the RAAF and was posted to 460 Squadron and flew 35 sorties over Europe in the Lancasters under Bomber Command. 460 Sqn had about 200 flying personnel at any one time, yet there were 1018 Sqn aircrew killed during the war. In effect, the Sqn was wiped out 5 times. They would work 6 weeks on, followed by 6 days off – one hell of a work load.


Laurie has written many books on his experiences during the war, among them are “To Hell and Back”,  “Halfway to Hell” and  “Flying into the Mouth of Hell.”


Laurie, a 95 year old man with a great sense of humour, addressed those present and told of some of his humorous wartime exploits. He amazed all by still being able to fit into his uniform, not a lot of us can do that, that’s for sure.


Click his pic to hear an interview with Laurie which was recorded back in 2011.


Many organisations then laid a wreath in honour of those lost in Bomber Command, among them was Wng Cdr John Griffiths (Ret’d) (right) who represented the Aircrew Association.


There are two different schools of thought when it comes to the history of the wreath. The first notes that the wreath dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where members of Greco-Roman society would hand-make ring-shaped “wreaths” using fresh tree leaves, twigs, small fruits and flowers. Worn as headdresses, these wreaths represented one’s occupation, rank, achievements and status. (The Laurel wreath was most commonly used then.) Laurel wreaths were used to crown victors of the ancient Greco-Roman Olympic Games. Wreath translated literally means, “a thing bound around,” from the Greek word diadema.


The second theory on the history of the wreath is a common Christian lore and explains that the honoured art of wreath-making began 1,000 years before the birth of Christ. Christians assembled “Advent wreaths” to symbolize the strength of life they showed by persevering through the harsh forces of winter. Today, still, the Christmas wreath is symbolic of Christian immortality, as the circle and sphere both represent immortality.


During the laying of the Wreaths, a lone piper provided a melancholy musical background.



After the ceremony, those young RAAF men and women, who had volunteered their time to shepherd all attendees from wandering into the “no-go” zones, sprang into action and herded us to the “Combined” Mess which is up on the hill behind the bowls club. The 3 (Officers, Sergeants and Airmans) Messes that most would remember are no more, these have all been closed in favour of the new Combined Mess. As well as being far more efficient, with the one kitchen supplying the 3 Messes, it is thought moving the Mess as far away as possible from the noise generated by aircraft is also beneficial.


People were treated at the Mess to a selection of wonderful food and drink, as provided by the Amberley Woman’s Auxiliary.


How would the world function without Women’s Auxiliaries?



At the end of the day, John “The People’s Champion” Sambrooks presented the two lovely Mount Alvernia High School girls with copies of books relative to the RAAF and its exploits during various conflicts.


The girls will present these to their school for inclusion in the school library.


Chloe McGibbon, “The People’s Champion,”   Claire Reid.







South Canberra Veterans’ Shed.


If you live in the ACT and you’re a Vet (male or female) you too can now enjoy your own “Shed”. Two blokes, Neil Sperring and Peter Nelms (right) have opened, in South Canberra, the first Men’s Shed dedicated to Veterans.


Veterans Sheds are part of the Men’s Shed organisation and are meeting places where veterans, regardless of gender, their families and like-minded persons, can socialise, discuss issues with like-minded mates, enjoy themselves, learn new skills, work on projects together and get involved in activities to support our mates, our shed and the community.


The aim of the Veterans Shed is to create and maintain an environment for serving and ex-serving personnel, regardless of gender, where concerns, past trauma, health issues and welfare issues can be discussed with other veterans who have empathy through similar life experiences.


Full Membership is open to all Veterans, serving and ex-serving Members of the Australian Defence Force (and our allies).


Associate Membership is available to Veterans’ families, Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Professionals and like-minded persons. At the moment, the SCVS is operating from 2 separate and temporary premises but they are working on gaining their own permanent venue.


The South Canberra Veterans’ Shed (SCVS) is located at two locations, the Lake Tuggeranong Sea Scouts Hall, Mortimer Lewis Drive, and at the Tuggeranong Archery Club Workshop, at the rear of the RHS of Tuggeranong Archery Club Multipurpose Hall – in Soward Way Greenway in the ACT.


The current shed activities are: 


Sea Scouts Hall   Archery Club
Social Activities:   Social and Workshop:
Wednesdays: 1200 - 1500 ish   Mondays and Thursdays: 0900 - 1300 ish



It is recommended that people call either 0490 043 158 or 0490 013 462 before coming down to confirm that Shed is open.


Click HERE to see their brochure.


The Veterans’ Shed “off-shoot” was started in Adelaide by Barry Heffernan. Barry saw the need and started the William Kibby VC Memorial Shed where people who have been scarred by the horrors of war and have been scarred by the treatment they received at the very hands of those who were meant to protect them. The Shed is open to anyone who’s ever pulled on a uniform”.


Barry said: “We get no money at all from the Government, but the flip side of that is that nobody can tell us how to do things.” He said: “The shed’s latest mission was to set up a network of women who have suffered abuse so that they can help each other. If a woman comes to me and tells me she was raped, rather than me talk to her I’ll put her in touch with other women in this network,” he says. “Of the 50 or so times that this has happened we haven’t had a suicide.”


Francis Sheridan-Collins, 97, the last surviving member of HMAS Sydney, at the William Kibby VC Veteran’s Shed.


You can see a Video describing the formation of Veterans Sheds HERE


The South Canberra Veterans Shed is being run by a couple of old radtechs - Neil Sperring and Peter Nelms.   As Peter also says, “if you wore the ADF uniform – you’re most welcome”.




DFRDB info.


A lot has been written about DFRDB lately. Everyone who is in receipt of a DFRDB pension has an opinion on and is prepared to tell everyone their opinion on its worth or its not worth. There’s so much data out there that it’s hard to separate the chaff from the hay but 100% of the mail we receive here are from people who are not happy, big time, about how they are being treated.


Click HERE to watch a presentation which provides evidence of a gross denial of superannuation and invalid benefits for more than 55,000 men and women who devoted many years of their lives, to the service of their country in the Australian Defence Force. That denial extends to the surviving widows and dependent children of the members who are already deceased. 




38 Squadron 75th Birthday Anniversary.


If you served with 38 Squadron you are most welcome to the 75th birthday anniversary which will be held in Townsville over the weekend 14Sept 2018 to 16 Sept 2018.


38 Squadron is the RAAF’s longest continuously operating Squadron. Formed in Richmond, in Sept 1943, it was equipped with Lockheed Hudsons and transported supplies and passengers throughout Australia until their replacement with Dakotas eight months later. With these more capable aircraft, operations were extended into New Guinea and other localities in the South West Pacific. In the forward areas, hazardous low-level supply dropping missions were conducted in support of Australian troops, and in this role, the popular Dakotas became known as the "Biscuit Bombers" to the grateful Aussie diggers.


Following the war, 38 Squadron participated in the Japan courier run - a thrice-weekly service in support of the Australian component of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. This arduous journey - a distance of some 20,000 kilometres - was extremely demanding and saw many crews being away from home for extended periods.


From late 1948, a large portion of 38 Squadron's aircrew strength was attached to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Europe to fly British Dakotas during the Berlin Airlift. Two years later the Squadron deployed to Singapore for operations against Communist insurgents in Malaya, where it was again placed under the control of the RAF. Operations included supply drops, casualty evacuation and VIP transport, and extended as far afield as Ceylon, the Philippines, Korea and Japan.


In November 1950, half of No 38 Squadron's complement of Dakotas deployed to Korea and immediately began operations in support of United Nations forces.


After returning to Australia in 1952, the Dakotas soldiered on for many years until the Caribou replaced them in 1964. These new aircraft - with their remarkable short field take off and landing capability - were soon detached to Port Moresby - where the extremely demanding flying conditions provided the Caribou crews with an excellent opportunity to hone their flying skills.


Another deployment commenced in March 1975, when a white painted Caribou was attached to a United Nations observer group monitoring the ceasefire between Pakistan and India.


With its easy access rear loading door and the ability to operate from unimproved landing strips, the Caribou has proved extremely useful during civil disasters. Its aircraft frequently assist in flood relief operations, including fodder drops to stranded cattle, as well as search and rescue missions and fisheries surveillance. On the military side, the Unit's operations encompass tactical supply missions, paratrooping and the delivery of stores into unprepared strips using the low altitude parachute extraction system.


In December 1992, 38 Squadron moved to Amberley and where it continued to operate the venerable Caribou in support of the Australian Army. The Unit was the training unit for maintenance personnel and aircrews for both Nos 35 and 38 Squadrons until the amalgamation of the four separate Caribou operating facilities in 2000. It then moved to Townsville.


In October 1999, elements of the Squadron, known as No 86 Wing Detachment C, deployed into East Timor under the auspices of the International Force East Timor or INTERFET as it became more commonly known. At its peak the Detachment operated four aircraft, this number was later reduced to two with the transition from INTERFET to the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor. Caribous eventually withdrew from East Timor in late February 2001.


In December 2009, after 45 years of distinguished service in a wide variety of conflicts and humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, the Caribou was replaced by the Beechcraft 350 King Air as an Interim Light Transport solution.


The King Air was selected to enable 38 Squadron to conduct strategic flying operations and provide a modern type for aircrews and maintenance personnel on which to hone their skills.


Sadly, at year’s end, 38 Squadron will be no more, there are plans to wind up the Squadron and move its aircraft down to East Sale. If you’re an ex-38Sqn person, September will be a happy/sad time for you, a happy time to celebrate the 75th anniversary, sad time to say goodbye to an old friend.


The Squadron has sent out a flyer for those interested in attending, you can see it HERE.




If you call me from a private number, I will respect your privacy and not answer.




Global Warming.


Here we go again!  We received this note from numerous people, all of whom are part of what some say are Climate Sceptics, those heretical people who refuse to believe that man is hell-bent on destroying the planet on which we live by pumping copious amounts of CO2 into our fragile atmosphere.


Those that question the Global Warming dogma are loudly branded as imbeciles, one eyed idiots and people who do not have or deserve the right to live on this beautiful blue planet. Those that do follow the Global Warming dogma are the true believers and those that don’t should be severely dealt with.


It is quite amusing, just question the global warming concept and you get howled down from all quarters – it’s as though it’s sacrosanct, “Thou shalt not question” – but people are now starting to.


Wonder where it will all end up?  Some-day, somebody is going to end up with a lot of egg on their face, some-day those that believe will either be able to grin and say “I told you so” or they will have to hide under the bed.


Have a look at THIS.




Vietnam Vets Day Commemoration with the Wayward Wanderers in Hobart.


Kev Carter, (ex-2Sqn) has been busy organising an event that all members of the Association are welcome to join in. If you’re down that way in August, and you’re a Vietnam vet, join in!!


The program is as follows:


Thursday 16 August 18


Meet and Greet with venue and time to be advised.



Friday 18 August 18.


A day trip to Bruny Island. Kev has spoken to Pennicott Journeys regarding their Bruny Island Traveller Trip. The criteria meets all our requirements. To date they have offered this tour at $170 per head however Kev will endeavour to talk them down.



Saturday 18 August 18 (VVD)


Kev thinks that the wives/partners may wish to visit Salamanca Markets in lieu of watching their long suffering husbands at another ceremony and then join us at the RSL for lunch. Transport to Claremont RSL and return will be by Hobart Shuttle Bus Company with cost TBA.



Sunday 19 August 18


An afternoon trip to Mount Wellington with Hobart Shuttle Bus Company.  Current cost $20 per head but I am still negotiating. Definitely rug up for this one.



Monday 20 August 18


Trip to Mona, Kev is still in negotiations regarding cost and activities for the day.


Those who intend to join in the above events and have not yet advised Kev, please do so as soon as possible and also advise which of the events you will be attending. If you are interested, please contact Kev as follows:


Email address:   two.kc2@bigpond.com         Mobile:   0419 003 423



I’ve got salad for dinner.   Actually, it’s fruit salad.  Well,  mostly grapes.

OK, all grapes.  Fermented grapes.  Wine!.   I’ve got wine for dinner!




50 Years of the P-3


Planning is underway to celebrate 50 years of the P-3 in Australia and to co-ordinate this we have setup a website to capture as wide an audience as possible. Dates are 30 Nov - 01 Dec 2018.


The address is https://50yearsofP3orions.eventsmart.com and it works on DRN  too (may need to open it in Chrome). It has some very limited information at this stage, however there is a survey so that you can register interest and keep up to date with what’s happening. Feel free to forward this email to anyone outside of the distribution list that you think would be interested as well.


(The DRN is the Defence Restricted Network, the ADF’s Intranet.)


In the next few days we will have an email address so that everyone can ask questions and help contribute; this will be published on the website. Until this is setup please contact me or SQNLDR Benn Carroll if you have any immediate concerns.




Michael Hawkins


Crew 4 10 SQN

RAAF Edinburgh

Edinburgh SA 5111




I talked to a to a homeless man this morning and asked him how he ended up this way. He said, "Up until last week, I still had it all. I had plenty to eat, my clothes were washed and pressed, I had a roof over my head, I had TV and Internet, and I went to the gym, the pool and the library. I was working on my MBA on-line. I had no bills and no debt. I even had full medical coverage."  I felt sorry for him, so I asked, "What happened? Drugs? Alcohol? Divorce?" "Oh no, nothing like that," he said. "No, no.. I was paroled.




2018 East Sale Reunion.


The 2018 East Sale Reunion will be held in South Australia, details below:


2018 East Sale Reunion



Venue:   Vine Inn Barossa

14 - 22 Murray St

Nuriootpa  SA  5352





Friday 19th October  to  Sunday 21st October 2018


Friday 19th October.


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

who arrive on Friday. To be held at Vine Inn. Finger food at 7pm. Drinks at own expense



Saturday 20th October.


  • Daytime Activities: Take a Wine Tour??? Look around local area.???? Up to individual.

  • Reunion Dinner Saturday night Venue 7pm. Main gathering at Vine Inn. 

  • (Please let us know if you would require a la carte??? Or set menu ????   or special Meals????    We must know by end August).

  • Drinks at Own expense.



Sunday 21st October.


Farewell Breakfast Sunday morning at the Venue TBA.



If you have any questions, please contact:

Ian Shaughnessy    Email:  bprince1@internode.on.net

Mob: 0429 094 274




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