Vol 74

Page 3

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43 Telstechs.

77 Sqn 40th anniversary.

86 HF Comms Course.

Canberra T4 bombsite.

G for George - AWM.

Mirage undercarriage problem.

Page 3 girl - Carolyn Davis.

Peter Frederick Course.

Pygmy McAndrew at the SOO.

RAAF Radio Butterworth.

Rock around the clock - Bill Haley.



Page 3 Girl.


Our lovely page 3 girl this issue is Carolyn Davis.


Carolyn was born in Murwillumbah in northern NSW, the youngest of three children. Soon after birth she returned to the family home on the Darling Downs with her parents and two brothers. Her memories of life on the Downs are of sheep, sheep, more sheep and not a blade of grass around the homesteads. In fact, she does not recall seeing green lawns until she moved to Manly, Qld in December 1956 to start at the Manly State School in January 1957.


The move to the coast triggered two great loves that continue to this day, swimming in salt water and eating seafood. Luckily for the next seven years she lived upstairs over the fresh seafood shop that was run by her grandfather and parents. Having a swim before school was common in summer as was spending hours helping her father dig sand worms and mud worms that were either sold in the shop or used personally for bait. During the ‘50s and ‘60s the Wynnum Fish Market was one of the largest in the southern hemisphere so there was always a venue for her father to sell his surplus catch and secure any species the shop may have been light on. Oysters could be freely gathered from the foreshore as there was not much in the way of pollutants in Waterloo Bay at that time.


In 1973 her father took a position in the Department of Health at the Quarantine Station, Lytton and she resided there until she married. There were nine families living on site spread over a few acres so there were enough children to keep each other amused and plenty of room. It did not take long for her family to tap into the abundant mud crab supply and only one episode of food poisoning for the family to realise oysters in the Brisbane River are not for human consumption. Fishing off the private Health Department jetty was potluck with plenty of the infamous Brisbane River Barra giving a good fight, shark, Jew, bream and flathead to name a few. For many years they kept a house cow that they shared with another family who had four children who took the morning milk as it gave more and their family had the afternoon milk. The children would have to catch and rope the cow until she could remember the routine. Carolyn learnt that brindle cows are certainly not as placid as jersey cows.



A couple of years after moving to Lytton the Ampol Refinery was built and the quiet, secluded lifestyle ended. Because of its close proximity to the Quarantine Station there were a few events that caused considerable alarm eg the flame was so huge and fierce the grass was burnt in their yards and women and children fled in fear that it was about to blow.


Her first after school job was to clean the cabin of the University of Queensland research trawler, The Wanderer, that had been granted permission to moor near the jetty. This entailed rowing a sixteen-foot wooden dingy from the jetty to the trawler, securing it and then rowing back when the job was completed. One day the current was so strong Carolyn missed the jetty but luckily was able to duck into a cove at the Ampol Refinery, secure the dingy, scamper through the Fort Lytton grounds, over the eight-foot fence back into the Quarantine Station and get her father to come to the rescue.  This position paid $2, and she recalls purchasing a bikini with her first pay and still had cash left over.


In 1966 she joined her brothers and father at the Wynnum Table Tennis Association. She took out the Junior Girls comp in 1968 and 1969 and went on to be an A reserve player. A sport she still enjoys albeit with a few aches and pains and admits her imagination now far exceeds her physical capabilities.



1968 saw Carolyn start work after completing year 10 at Wynnum State High School that is ironically in Peel Street Manly. One can only assume the boundaries were moved at some stage. This was as a Clerk Typist at the Queensland Radium Institute within the Royal Brisbane Hospital. There were many applicants and Carolyn was told several were of the same typing standard but she was given the position because she wore gloves to the interview. So, for eight years she ventured from the last house on the southside of the Brisbane River to the Royal Brisbane Hospital remembering there was no Gateway Bridge back in those days. If one was lucky enough to be forewarned of an accident on Wynnum Road or the Storey Bridge the other option was the James Holt vehicular ferry at Colmslie. If her brother’s vehicle was out of action her father would have to drive them to Lindum Station to catch a train or Hemant to catch a bus as there was no public transport at Lytton.


Carolyn has continued working in the health industry most of her working career. She took three years off for the birth of her two sons. They are both in their forties and she has one granddaughter who is completing year twelve this year.


She states that her first midlife crisis came in 1996 when she went to America, obtained a semi haz mat endorsed licence and drove for Baldwin Distribution out of Amarillo, Texas for eight months doing coast to coast. The best delivery was New York to Los Angeles in fifty-two hours. The fuel tanks were enormous so there weren’t too many stops and one driver would sleep while the other drove. This stint allowed Carolyn to see more of the USA landscape than she has of Australia by visiting forty-eight of the States.


The second midlife crisis was when she commenced her Batchelor of Nursing Science degree in 2001 at James Cook University. She had been working as a secretary at The Townsville General Hospital and decided she needed a change in her career path. She can boast to being the oldest person during this intake at the age of forty-nine.  Following a stint in the Emergency Department to gain experience most of her nursing career in Townsville was in theatre in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit. On returning to Brisbane in 2007 she ventured into mental health nursing and remains a member of the Metro South Addiction Mental Health Casual Pool during her semi-retirement.


Carolyn has voiced that her third midlife crisis will be participating in the Scootaville event in September 2021 - and bring it on!


Carolyn will be one of the nurses taking part in the Scootaville event – looking after a bunch of old buggers who should know better.




After both suffering from depression for a while, me and the missus were going to commit suicide together yesterday.

Strangely enough, however, once she killed herself I started to feel a lot better. So I thought - sod it, I'll soldier on.




43 Telstechs.  31 August, 1983.

Billy Kiosses sent us these two pics.


Second Row L-R:  Don’t know,  Billy Kiosses. Sgt Frank Osborne, Instructor

 (Can anyone help with names?)



Billy says : “I left Australia in 1993 and have been overseas ever since. My permanent home is in France, small city called Antony just 9Kms away from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”



86 HF Comms Tels 10 April 1985


Back row L-R:   Michael Robinson,  Peter Wilson,  Phil Ashton,  Peter Gepp (Guppy).

Middle Row L-R:   John Thompson,  Guy Vanballen (Radar),  Billy Kiosses,  Jim Shaw,  Neil Snudden.

Front Row L-R:   Nick Dentrinos,  Mal Dick,  Chuck Broadbent,  Gary Richardson,  Peter Weatland (Gonzo)


The HF Comms course is for Commcenter support on the point to point communications system between RAAF bases. How to change circuits, fault analysis with the RAD Techs and all the switching gear for the circuits.




Peter Frederick sent us this, we’re not sure what the course is and we don't have any names..





Ever hopeful.


Pygmy McAndrew, ever the optimist, drove down from the Sunshine Coast to watch the State of Origin in Brisbane on Sunday night 27 June, sadly, the maroon shirt didn’t do the trick and Qld got a flogging.


Pygmy says, “at least the red was worth coming down for".


Pygmy McAndrew and Andrew Farnworth.




"Jesus Loves You."

Nice to hear in church but not in a Mexican prison.






Seems the Mirage had a fault.


Michael Swan says there was a hydraulic design fault in aircraft up to A3-50 that on start up, given certain circumstances, directed hydraulic pressure to unlock the longitudinal jacks and caused them to start retracting. This created enough imbalance to make the aircraft sit on its back-side. I know this first hand because it happened to me as Man "A" on dispatching A3-27.


As this aircraft is A3-85, methinks something else caused this. But no doubt, an expert will shout me down or someone will actually know what the after incident report said.


Paul Stefanovich says the sumpies do a vent to build up hydraulic pressure for towing but forgot to bleed off pressure, the pilot missed it, signalled 3rd handle. The surge from flipper doors retracting caused longitudinal jacks to unlock. Happened to me.





Barry Einam says “It could be done on "all" jets if you didn't watch out - in '74 (?) we had 3 jets in one week do that in Butterworth (one at 75Sqn and two at 3Sqn) - the effectiveness of incorporating the mod was questionable - it may have fixed other issues but it did not fix the problem above......having said that it's far too long ago to remember.


The thing was we kept on having guys having some very serious injuries on launch, that's why we always demonstrated that scenario to newbies when an aircraft was on jacks and doing functional's if we got the chance - leaves an imprint on your brain when you witness the door slam shut in 1/3rd of a second if you had a full 3000 psi in the system and no motor / hyd rig "turning over".



We were all nice and fit once, no extra weight - what happened??  tb.




77 Sqn 40th anniversary.


L-R: Chris Ortlipp,  Henri Koster,  Bob Black,  Nick Negline,  Mark 'Fozzy' Bland,  Bob Godfrey, John Farquarson (OIC),  Steve 'Jake' Jacobs,  Bill Duce,  Bob Godfrey,  Steve Cox,  John 'JK' Kennett,  Bob Mitchell,  John Head,  Dave 'Dinga' Bell,  Kev Dixon.







Canberra T4 bombsite



The T4 Bombsight was a remarkable analogue computing device which gave the Canberra's their accurate ordinance delivery capability .. The sight was intended for use at altitude and the collimator was adapted for low level ops. It proved very accurate in level flight and was preferred by allies for close air support for that reason.  In bombing operations with the T4 sight, the navigator called the pilot to make minor corrections to heading with left, right and steady calls and the nav released the bombs. The nav skill was underrated by many, in that these guys used their reading of terrain slope and wind effect deviations and the speed of moving targets in their correction calls and the eventual 'pickle'. No other method was as accurate at the time. In Vietnam, 2 Squadron was well thought of for the consistent accuracy and reliability and was honoured by the USA with presidential citations.





G for George.



The iconic Lancaster ‘G for George’, code AR-G, serial number W4783, operated by No. 460 Squadron during World War II, was recently disassembled by a team from the Air Force History and Heritage Branch and the Australia War Memorial Collections Services, during a four-week period.  


The Lancaster has been one of the most popular exhibits at the Australian War Memorial and has been on display in Anzac Hall since early 2000s. Anzac Hall will soon be demolished to make way for a new larger hall that will house displays being developed over the next few years. 


The bomber flew 89 operational missions over Germany and Occupied Europe during the height of the bomber offensive. 


Built in 1942, G for George was in active service until it retired in 1944. G for George will be reassembled and placed on display at the Australian War Memorial Mitchell Annex, which will be open to the public in the later part of 2021.


The team removed panels, bomb bay doors, engines and tailplane assembly, the undercarriage components, and the wings as a whole piece and separated the fuselage into four sections. Expertise and knowledge was passed between both teams.


Australian War Memorial Collection Services Project Manager, Kassandra O’Connell said they valued the support. “We are grateful to have RAAF support embedded within the team for this iconic collection disassembly and movement,” she said. 


Air Force Team Leader Warrant Officer Stan Lawler said he enjoyed working on the project. “It was an honour and a privilege to work with the Australian War Memorial team on this magnificent aircraft, and to remember all those who worked to keep G for George flying for our aircrew during the bomber offensive,” he said.


G for George will return to the new Anzac Hall when construction and installation of the updated displays has been completed.


If you’ve never been to the AWM, you should definitely consider it, it is nothing short of magnificent.







Got caught having a pee in the local swimming pool today.

The lifeguard shouted at me so loud I nearly fell in.




RAAF Radio Butterworth 1960 - 1987


A small book was published in 1987 by the Radio Heritage Foundation to mark the closure of RRB, RAAF Radio Butterworth, which had served the Royal Australian Air Force base, located in Butterworth, Malaysia, on 1445 kHz since 1960.


You can see it HERE  and you can see and hear the news as read by Ross Brady in 1975 below.






Rock n’ Roll and the first Radio RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia


“’Rock Around the Clock’ took the place by storm,” recalls Doug Lewin. “People in Butterworth and Penang loved it.”


This was 1956 and the global hit by “Bill Haley and the Comets” was broadcast through a small radio station set up by the men of RAAF No. 2 Construction Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia. (Click below to hear it). The squadron was there to construct an airfield strip in Butterworth for the British during the Malayan Emergency. They were housed in a camp of Attap huts next to the construction site, and rock was sourced from a quarry about 5 miles away.




Corporal Doug Lewin was working as an engineer with the Squadron. At the time the American Forces Radio network was broadcasting contemporary music from Guam, but this was restricted to short wave radio and not everyone had this. The idea to broadcast music for the unit came about through a discussion on recreational pursuits to break up the regime of work and sleep.


“We were in the canteen one night and we agreed that background music would be a good idea. As there were 14 sleeping huts each with 6 rooms, we were faced with a potential situation of many different types of music competing from the different huts. After careful consideration and several more beers it was agreed that the PA system would be the best way to provide background music for the Unit.”


The PA system was an internal loudspeaker system working throughout the RAF and RAAF bases at Butterworth, controlled by the British security radio network. When the men linked their turntables and amplifiers into the system, they had no idea they were broadcasting to the whole network. British security tracked down the music and demanded that they cease, but by then the 24 hour music had become a hit.


“Our music broadcasting had become so popular that even the locals came to the security fence to listen. When the music ceased, loud were the complaints from both within and outside the Base and surrounds. Such was the discontent that it was decided to build a low powered radio station and continue with the 24 hour music. This was done and Radio RAAF Butterworth (RRB) was born.”


Anyone not on a work shift could help with the broadcasting. Jazz was also popular. A range of music was played although a classical programme did not last long. The first records were those donated by the unit personnel.


“Our records came from Australia. We asked the local Penang record store, and they made enquiries through Singapore for us. The latest music from America started coming into Penang and it wasn’t just the Australians buying it. The locals bought the music as well.”


As the work of the squadron continued, RRB acquired a new listener. This was a tiger that wandered into the unit’s quarry site one night and disrupted proceedings. Although his visit was short, the broadcast music obviously proved irresistible and his footprints were occasionally detected in the nearby dust.


Although the latest music was becoming popular with the locals, their community leaders still considered it “decadent western stuff” and the Australian authorities didn’t want to offend them given the fragile political situation. RRB functioned unofficially. And this probably explains why most histories give a date of around 1960 for the first broadcasts of the station. By then Independence had been declared and the Malaysian government was forming a new relationship with the Australian government. The other reason could be that people have just forgotten this early RRB history.



Back in 1958, No. 2 Construction Squadron completed the airstrip 2 years ahead of time and well under budget to the amazement of the British government. With their work finished, the unit returned to Australia, and Lewin remembers the smooth sounds of Sinatra then filling the RRB airwaves.


Those old 33⅓ records bought in Penang are now stored on a farm in the Lismore area together with tractor equipment.



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