Vol 79

Page 2

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In Memory of:






Ian Saunders


Kerry Harrington advises the passing of Ian Saunders. Sorry, no further details.




John Elliott


Arthur Rennick advises the passing of John Elliott on the 28th February, 2023. John was a Telecoms Operator and did a stint with 2 Sqn in Phan Rang from June 1967 to June 1968. After the RAAF, he joined the (then) Dept of Civil Aviation (DCA) and was trained as a Flight Service Operator (FSO).  I was on course with John back in 1972.  Air Services Australia, in their wisdom (??) disbanded the FSO classification some time ago, along with a lot of essential services they provided and amalgamated everything into the ATC portfolio.


Suzanne Elliott, John's wife, advised that John passed away during the early hours of the 28th February, following a long battle with cancer.


Carl Schiller advised that John was an ardent supporter of the Air Force Association and 2SQN Association. He was the Secretary/Treasurer of the 2Sqn Branch AFA Victoria which disbanded shortly after the Annual General Meeting in April 2022.  He was a great mate of mine and I visited him just before he passed. He was a battler having endured cancer for decades. John and I were of the same mustering and we shared many interesting stories. I have great respect for him.



A while back John visited the Airways Museum at Essendon Airport to reminisce about the “old days”. He could remember when he was at Katherine back in the 1970’s with up to 30 active aircraft on his board, most of whom were “temporarily unsure of their position” – or “geographically embarrassed.” Unless absolutely necessary, pilots in the know never used the word “Lost” as that triggered certain phases and those nasty 225’s which were to be avoided at all costs. The console above, which is on display at the Essendon Museum, was at Mildura.


John Elliott’s Funeral Service was held at Tobin Brothers Chapel, in Berwick Victoria on Thursday, 9th March.




Fred Howie


Betty Harrison advises the passing of Fred Howie. Betty said Fred had a fall, hitting his head on the bathroom tiles back on the19th November 2021. With his Parkinson's Disease/Dementia he was on a rapid decline, so I knew I couldn't look after him anymore. He wasn't going to be coming home from hospital. It was difficult finding the right nursing home for him, very sad thinking about it now. I assured him we were still living together, only separately! which he accepted. Staff at Beaudesert Whiddon Star were wonderful.


He went from hospital in early January 2022, then to the nursing home, but I was unable to visit him, COVID lockdown twice!


I was able to visit him every day at Ipswich Hospital. Good staff there as well.


It was awful seeing him go downhill, that was when I felt the sadness. I'm going okay for the most part, knowing he is in a better place. 


His brother, Lindsay is an Anglican priest and held the service for Fred. I have to say it was one of the best funerals I've been to... strange I know! Those who were there and watched it live-stream all have remarked the same! I had to find people's email addresses who Fred knew, I'd heard him speak to/of, and that wasn't easy! Kalbar RSL, Dick Tracey and Ron Brett put it out there which helped a lot. 


I lived with Roger Harrison for 33 years, until he moved on. Fred, a good mate of Roger's, his wife Corinne died, so after a couple of years we palled up and were together for 17 years. Because of my "RAAF!" life, there were some same contacts. I catch up with some at CIS Ipswich, Gunnies lunch.


I like keeping in touch. 


The Doctor contacted me the day before he died, so I was able to be with him for that time. It was the same day we settled on selling our Roadvale house. 2pm. Fred passed away 10pm.


You can read a wonderful eulogy HERE.




Frank Edward Burtt


We have been advised that Air Commodore Frank Burtt passed away on the 29th January, 2023, aged 82. His funeral was held in North Ryde (Sydney) on the 10th February.


Air Commodore Burtt (Ret’d) served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 33 years including operational service in Malaya and Vietnam. He is a graduate of both the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and the Joint Services Staff College. He retired in the rank of Air Commodore and was appointed as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1983. He was appointed a Services Member of the VRB in 1998. Frank served as navigator with 2 Sqn in Phang Rang from 03 Jan 1967 to 04 Nov 1967.




Nicholas James Gregory Watling.


We have been advised that Nick Watling passed away peacefully at a Cairns Private Hospital on the 22nd October, 2022, aged 90. Nick was a pilot and flew the A model Herc with two trips to Vietnam, Sept 1964 and again in May 1965 and in Jun 1967 returned with 35Sqn flying the Caribou. He returned to Australia in May 1968.


Nick’s family held a memorial gathering to celebrate his life at the Cairns RSL on the 26th November 2022.




Dennis Hoolahan


Barney Miller advises the passing of Dennis “Junior” Hoolahan on the 24th January 2023. Dennis was a Clerk Supply and served with 2 Sqn in Phang Rang from Feb 1970 to Feb 1971.




Dianne Beasant (nee McLachlan)


We have been advised that Dianne died while being cared for in the Hervey Bay Hospital on the 21st December 2022. She was only 65 years old. Dianne joined the Air Force as Dianne McLachlan in Feb 1976 and was on 241 WRAAF Rookies. She graduated as a Switchie, sorry, no further details.




Bob Howden.


Jock Spencer advises the recent passing of ex 7 Radio Appy Bob Howden.  Sorry, no further details.




James Robins.


Jock Spencer advises the recent passing of ex 7 Radio Appy James Robins.  Sorry, no further details.




Gary Hague.


We have been advised that Gary Hague passed away on the 17th November 2022, Gary was on 98 Telegs. Sorry, no further details.




Peter Woodford


Henry Cichowski has advised the death of former ADG  Peter WOODFORD. Peter’s funeral service was held on Friday 11 November 2022 at Pinaroo Crematorium, Albany Creek. Peter served with 2 Squadron at Phan Rang from 25 February, 1969 to 26 February 1970.


Sorry, no further details.





Peter Growder


Arthur Rennick advises the passing of Air Commodore Peter Growder who left us on the 5th February, 2023. He was only 76 years old. Peter lived in Peregian Beach, on Qld’s Sunshine Coast. His funeral was held on the 17th February at the Gregson and Weight Chapel in Buderim.


Peter was a Navigator and flew the F-111 prior to which he was on Canberras and the F4 Phantom. Upon his retirement he spent a lot of his time as a volunteer at the Qld Air Museum in Caloundra.




Robin Lyon.


We have been advised that Rob Lyon passed away on Sunday the 22nd January, 2023. Rob was a Ground Defence Officer. As a Flt Lieutenant, Rob served with 2 Sqn in Phan Rang Det A from April 1967 to December 1967.


Sorry, no further details.




Rodney Adam       


“Chuck” Connors advises the passing of Rod Adam who died on the 10 January, 2023. Rod was born in England in January 1946 and emigrated to Australia with his family. He joined the RAAF and was on 60 Pilot’s Course (Sept66 – Feb67). After graduation, he was posted to 5 Sqn at Fairbairn then shortly after, in August 1967, he was posted to 9 Sqn Vietnam.


A wake to commemorate Rod’s life is being organised in Brisbane to be held late in March, details to follow.   




Richard Orr.


Kerry Harrington advises he received notice from Samantha Brown that her dad, SqnLdr Richard Orr, passed away on the 3rd February, 2023. Richard had battled cancer for a number of years but eventually it became a battle too hard to fight.


Sorry, no further information.




Bob Chapman.


Kerry Allen advises the passing of Bob Chapman, ex RadtechG, in February 2023.  Kerry says "I served with him at 3CRU Williamtown in the 1970's, and after we both retired met again at GTESPO Williamtown to work together from 2000 on. He worked for the Public Service in the Air Traffic Control section while I was employed by a contractor".


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