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In Memory of:







Ron “R2” Raymond.


Sadly, Ron passed away on Tuesday the 27th April, aged 87, after a long period of ill health. 


Don Pollock says;   Ron Raymond died peacefully at his home in Palmerston North, NZ, early Tuesday morning. He was being given medication when he closed his eyes and went. He had fought several cancers for 15 years. The last year he had slowly succumbed to dementia.


Ron will be remembered for many exploits in the RAAF including his time as a flight instructor at 1 BFTS, Point Cook. A flight instructor at 38SQN on DC3’s was followed as a captain of a Caribou on the second ferry over the North Atlantic (where he spotted several icebergs). Later on in Vietnam he set a high standard for the junior pilots by demonstrating how to airbrake a Caribou on a flapless approach by raising the nose to such a high angle that he achieved better braking by scraping the ramp, which was in the down position. Later he served in PNG and after discharging went back to PNG to fly with Air Niugini. After New Guinea, he became the Chief Pilot for Ansett in New Zealand.


On retirement from Ansett New Zealand, Ron joined Massey University where he spent many happy years lecturing on flight operations. He was an avid aviator with many thousands of hours in many different types in a multitude of operational environments.


A private service was held for Ron by his family on Saturday 1st May.  You can read Ron’s story HERE.





Jim Lamprecht.


Dick Horder advises that ex RAAF W/O Jim Lamprecht, who was from Proserpine, Qld, passed away sometime during the week 23-27th of March. He was 83 years old. Jim had been a volunteer at Meals on Wheels in Ipswich in Jun 2112 when I started there. I believe Jim was a Rad Tech (G). When discharged, I believe he worked for TELSTRA. He was living in a retirement village in Tivoli. There was no public funeral as far as I am aware. Jim had served in Butterworth, Ubon (Jun1965 – Jul1965) and Vietnam (Apr1967 – Apr1968),.





Graham Leslie “Spanner” Tanner.



Wazza Urquhart contacted us recently with some extremely sad news. It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of my great mate Graham Leslie (Spanner) Tanner on the 14th April 2021, at 1100 WA time. Spanner had turned 66 in January and had shown no signs of illness of late. His lovely wife Leanne informed me of Spanners’ passing and she suspects he may have had a heart attack. Spanner had suffered a heart attack around 10 to 12 years ago which caused some heart damage. Spanner will be sadly missed by his wife Leanne, children Tim and Melissa and their respective partners, and especially his much loved grandchildren.


Spanner” had contacted Friends of the Mirage back in March 2018. At the time he advised that he was preparing to do some “Travelling Australia” and was going to get to a Reunion one day – in December 2018 he advised that he wouldn’t be able to make the reunion in 2019 due to work commitments. He went on to say, “However, I am retiring just after (the 2019 Reunion) to do a caravanning lap, so please keep me on the list for 2020. I will sort my touring out to coincide with the following reunion.” Well, COVID-19 went on to destroy that wish and, unfortunately, he never got to attend one of our FOTM Reunions.


Spanner served as a Corporal “Basher” at 75SQN circa April 1978 to April 1980 where he also played for the Mighty Boatie Tigers – he was a very talented “Basher”, the Best of Co-Workers and a Great Mate to so many.




Mervyn “Darkie” Clark MBE.


“Bones” Einam advises the passing of another Mirage legend, ex WOE “Darkie” Clark, who passed away on Sunday night, 18th April, 2021, one month short of his 95th birthday. What can you say about “Darkie” ??   There’s a hell of a lot of us around who had worked for him at different stages of our careers – some of us came under his protective umbrella a number of times and are much the better for it. He genuinely loved his family, “his people”, his mates and the RAAF – he would fight “tooth and nail” for his people should the need arise. Although he worked in various other areas of the RAAF during his vast career, he lived and breathed Mirage – but he did have an unhealthy love for the Dakota as well. He was probably one of the most respected fellows one could come across in the RAAF – very well-liked and highly respected by Groundies, Blunties and Knucks alike (and talking Groundies, that was ALL trades…..ALL Trades).


Not many people ever ran afoul of “Darkie” – amusingly though (to Flight Line crews at least) there were many moments over the years where a hapless fighter pilot was allocated the last jet on the line at Butterworth – amazingly at the same time, you could “bet London to a brick” that all the flight-line bicycles were undergoing repairs on punctured tyres and the flight-line Clarktors were off the tarmac and down the road getting refuelled. What misfortune.


Rule No. 1 – Never ever, under any circumstances, “piss off” the WOE.  Rule No. 2 – see Rule No. 1.


Unfortunately, more so to his advancing years than COVID-19 etc, “Darkie” never got to attend one of our FOTM Reunions. We are so much poorer for that. He was a very talented and knowledgeable Fitter back in the day, the Best of Bosses and a Great Mate to so many.


To “Darkie” – a considerate and gentle man, a great friend and mentor to many and now an absent mate.  Vale “Darkie” Clark




Bruce "Chips" Woodyard.


The Djinnang Association advises, with a broken and aching heart, that Chippy lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully on Monday 10th May, surrounded with love from his loving family. Chippy’s funeral was held on the 17th May in Albany WA, followed by a gathering of family and friends at the Mt Barker Gold Club.




Fred Holtmann.


Bob Charman advises the passing of 'Big Fred' Holtmann. Fred was a DI at RTU in the 70s and will be remembered as a "HUGE" influence on many rookies who encountered him there. In his career with the RAAF he rose to be a WOD.


He then had a career as Captain of the Hamley Bridge CFS, in SA, and was a hero to the local young people who he trained as cadet firefighters. Fred was a well respected member of the community and will be sadly missed. RIP Fred.


Fred’s funeral was held on Friday the 21st of May at 11:00am at the Hamley Bridge Cemetery, followed by the wake at the Hamley Bridge Bowls Club.




Gus Comer.


Gus’s eldest daughter told us that Gus passed away on the 1st May. Sorry, no further details.






Col Metcalf.


We were advised that Col Metcalf passed away on Monday the 7th June after a long illness, his funeral was held on the 19th June in Midland WA. Sorry, no further details.




Ken Perkins.


We were advised that Ken Perkins passed away on the 4th June, his funeral was held on Thursday 11th June on Bribie Island. Sorry, no further details.





Ron Upham.


We have been advised that Ron Upham passed away on Tuesday the 11th May. Sorry, no further details.




Reg Furlong.


Gary Broughton advises I was advised this week that Reg Furlong ex RADTECHA died at the end of last year at his home in Bulgaria where he was living with his second wife, Jo. Reg enlisted from London in 1972 and he was brought to Oz with his wife, Hazel (dec 2001) and their two children, by the RAAF. He and Hazel hailed from Liverpool originally and settled (for a while) in Townsville after Reg left the RAAF. They turned into quite the globe trotters in later years with Reg going into partnership in a second-hand plant business in Europe. Last month I'd noticed that his Facebook page had gone quiet and I managed to get in touch with his daughter, who gave me the sad news.




David Allison.


Neil Hunter advises that David Allison (3TMT 67-69) passed away on the 14th April – suffering from pancreatic cancer. David’s funeral was held on the 20th April in Dandenong South.




Thomas ‘Athol’ Logan.


Margot, Athol’s daughter got in touch, she passed on the sad news that her dad, (known as Athol), had passed away on the 3rd June 2021 following a medical emergency which resulted in Dad been hospitalised. His situation remained stable for a couple of days however, shortly after his admission, after a fall in his hospital room, his condition became compromised. After a CT scan it confirmed the way forward was not positive and at 90 years of age he chose not to have any further medical intervention.


Athol was a metal basher and served with 35 Sqn in Vietnam from April 1968 to April 1969.


Margot says “Wednesday evening I spent 1.5hrs with him, so lucid and articulated working his way through our conversation as if working through the filing system in his mind about his life. The most amiable and peaceful conversation between us in this past two (2) months. He requested to be put to bed at 8:00pm and then asked his amazing male nurse Lachlan if his bed could be turned to look out the window and take in the night view over Woolloongabba.


Thursday morning his condition deteriorated rapidly and as I continually liaised with both the attending medical and palliative care teams - who admitted they were struggling to stay on top of his deteriorating condition – I made the decision to cease all treatment, have him heavily sedated to ensure he was in no pain and remained comfortable until his final sleep came.


There is sadness even though we have known for months that he was not living a life, but prolonging death but when finality arrives it still hits you because both parents are now resting! Still challenging days ahead, the heart breaking sadness of goodbye will pass and our healing journey will continue.


Dad was laid to rest on Monday, 14 June 2021 at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Catholic Church Coorparoo followed by a private burial. The RSL Yeronga Sub-Branch were present and contributed to recognise his service to Country.”





Peter Jones.


We have been advised that Peter Jones, RAAF metal basher, passed away on the 10 May, 2021. Peter served with RTFV/35 sqn in Vietnam from Jan 1965 to July 1965.






Harald Andresen.


We have been advised that “Andy” Andresen, ex Mirage framie, passed away on Friday 25 June 2021 after a protracted and tough battle with a number of medical issues including a debilitating lung condition and associated illnesses and breathing difficulties.


Sorry, no further details.




Geoff Grebert.


We have also been advised that Geoff Grebert passed away on the 20th June.


Sorry, no further details.





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