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492 Sqn

 

 

92 Wing Detachment A Memories by Russ King

 

 


No 492 Squadron RAAF

P3 Orion 1986?
(Michael Swan)

  No. 492 Squadron was formed at RAAF Edinburgh on 01 July 1977 as a centralised maintenance squadron to support the operations of the RAAF’s recently-established 92 (Maritime) Wing, which - as well as 492SQN - comprised nos. 10, 11 and 292 Squadrons.

  The formation of 492SQN came about because 10SQN had recently ‘traded in’ its venerable P2V Neptunes and was due to re-equip with P3C Orions, and as part of the reorganisation it also moved to Edinburgh from its long-time bolt hole at RAAF Garbutt, in Townsville.

  Initially comprised of the former members of 11SQN maintenance, 492SQN grew quickly as the maintenance facilities at Edinburgh were expanded and upgraded to cater for ten new aircraft.

  Naturally the numbers of Armourers' grew too. When the squadron was formed 492 Armament comprised around 20 people (who had all been members of 11SQN the day before), and within three years that number had grown to in excess of 40.

  Those on the first section roll were:

FSGT Terry Flynn
SGTs Rod Farquar, Hank Tindall, Bruce Lean and Vic Robertson
CPLs Al Hunt, Mick Wallace, Bloo Boxall, Ben Krop, Dick Drover and Ken Dolan
LAC/ACs Wayne Craker, Graham Bagdonas, Sam Mangano, Chris Geeves, Mark Lambert, Daryl Williams, Russ King, Mike Case, Greg Rowe and Mike Swan.

  The first P3C arrived in the middle of 1978 and in the following February the Armourer’s little section was gutted to prepare for a doubling in size. Over the next 12 months or so the Armament workshops and storage facilities operated in temporary locations throughout Hangar 595 and on various odd locations around Edinburgh while construction continued. In November the expanded and refurbished section was ‘consecrated’ and occupied and by the middle of 1980 the new sonobuoy preparation and ready-use areas were opened for use. Not too long after that the tiny tin shed that had been the torpedo prep building was knocked down and a new, larger building commissioned adjacent to the old ‘Blue Steel’ area. 492SQN Armament was up and running again.

  There were a few challenges; hitherto the Maritime Gun Plumbers had been the masters of the P3B and its combination of (relatively unsophisticated, but quite friendly) electrical and pneumatic search and kill stores equipment. The Charlie version presented new technology - in spades. CAD and SLC and ARM/ORD SYGNOG were the new buzzwords, and students struggled with the ‘Brother-in-Law Effect’, which in essence suggested that the designer of the P3C obviously had a brother-in-law who owned a relay factory. Why else would there be 10,000-odd of the damn things in the armament system alone? They also struggled with the daily workout that shoving 48 ARD-863 topped sonobuoys up an Orion’s clacker produced; and that was before they got around to loading another 36 - as well as marker marines and SUS - upstairs. Before long biceps were bulging.

  New training courses were set up and conducted by Vic Robertson and Mal MacKinnon, who had been forced to spend four months at NAS Moffett Field, 30 miles south of San Francisco learning things themselves before passing it on. A little later MacDonnell-Douglas sent out a bloke named Tom Hewitt to pass on the intricacies of the AGM84 Harpoon and its HACLCS, which all came to a head at RIMPAC ’82 when the 492 Gunnies loaded the first Harpoon to be launched by the ADF.

  During the ‘reconstruction’ period at Edinburgh a considerable number of ‘Tame’ maritime exercises were conducted along the east coast. These ran from between five and ten days, usually based at Richmond, and kept the squadron pretty well occupied. The flight line hut for these pushes was generally a single 11 x 11 tent pitched beside the control tower, and with very little electrical backup being supplied it was considered quite normal to crank up an APU so that the kettle could be boiled for a hot cup of coffee!

  The expansion within the technical area was quickly matched by an expansion in the flying rate, and, after exercise RIMPAC ’80 the 492 Gunnies found themselves travelling hither and yon to all corners of the globe as 92 Wing flexed its muscles. ‘Silent Pearl’ exercises took the techos to Hawaii, San Francisco and Comox, on Vancouver Island. There were still pushes to New Zealand as well as forays to Cocos, Guam, Diego Garcia and the Philippines. Then, in February of 1981, Operation Gateway commenced and a new generation of Armourers’ got to know the delights of Butterworth and Penang (and an older one got to experience them all over again). The legendary Fincastle Trophy was another added attraction, and being selected as a Fincastle Groundie was always considered to be a real feather in the cap.

  92WGDETA became a permanent part of 492SQN’s responsibilities, firstly operating from a transportable hut beside the Air Movements tarmac, and then from a set of refurbished rooms in the airstrip side of what had been the 75SQN hangar in Butterworth’s salad days. Flying was generally every second day, with the aircraft leaving at around sparrow’s and arriving back after the fighter boys had all headed for the ferry, or the Bat Cave. Now and then there was a ‘prosecution’ (whoever decided on the term should have been shoved out of the free fall chute), and the flying rate soared. Along with that sonobuoy usage went through roof, and sleep for the DETA Gunnies became short and infrequent - at least until the supply of buoys ran out!

  In the mid eighties a permanent afternoon shift was commenced, adding another layer of organisation to be sorted out. That meant day work, afternoon shift, duty crew, DETA, Rescue Eights and any other exercise or short notice deployment that the OPS people could dream up. Most – if not all – Gunnies had a bag with a toothbrush, clean jocks, cunning kick and passport packed and ready, just in case.

  With the usual steady turnover of personnel 492SQN Armament charged into the nineties, meeting all of the challenges, both routine and unexpected, the way that Armourers always have. Things were about to change though. Having inflicted the Technical Trade Review on the RAAF in general, the powers-that-be decided that the way forward for Australian maritime aviation was in the past. On December 15th, 1998, 492SQN was formally disbanded and its personnel posted to either 10 or 11 Squadron.
 

492 SQN November 84

Back Row: "General" Parry, Wayne Sugden, Row Snell, Dino Simpson, Gus Walters, Kent Lee, Paul Punter, Bill Hewson
Second Row: Buck Hennessey, Al Hunt, Harv Hersant, John Owston, Chris Hein, Bret Petersen, Ian Smith, Pete Hillard, Phil Ridley, Simo Simensen, Jerry Mercer, Ben Plociennik
Front Row: Gerry Darcy, Joug Kvedaras, Guy Blowering, Bruce Sparks, Blu Romer, Bob Drury, "Capt" Kirk, Mick Lewis, Gerry Willems, Pete Adnams
Missing: Ross Thomasson, Darrell Radin, Sid Snodgrass, Wally Latham, Fes Merett, Terry Baccus, Mick Gower, Steve Kemp, Dave Williams, Gav Cato,

Russ King's Photo Album
album

Fincastle Trophy 
at 
RNZAF Base Whenuapai 
October of 1978.
(Russ King)

Mick Case, Rod Smith and Russ King
 

 New Zealand during exercise 
Auckex 1980
maritime and torpedo exercise
(Russ King)


STANDING: Russ King, John Sharpe-Hall (24SQN), Stu Braunholz, Dave Evans, Don Harvey (1CAMD), Neil Green (SEW), Stu Cook and Bob Cowell (SEW)
KNEELING: Jerry Mercer and Mike Case

 

Stu Braunholz at Auckex 80
(Russ King)

 

Gerry Mercer at Auckex 80
(Russ King)

 

Mick Case at Auckex 80
(Russ King)

 

Stu Cook at Auckex 80
(Russ King)

 

Rimpac '82
(Russ King)

 

RIMPAC 82
(Ross McCaig)


Left to right- Dave Evans, Ross McCaig, Wayne Craker,  Russ King, Vic Robbie and front is Terry Baccus.

Gunnies get together last year Adelaide (2004)
(Ross McCaig)


left to right was Ross McCaig, Russ King, Greg Rowe, Pete Cesco and Al Hunt trying to see if he can still see his toes.

492 Sqn 1981
(Ross McCaig)

RIMPAC 84 
 
RIMPAC 84
Loading Live Harpoon
Buck, Mike Lewis & Ben Kenobi


492 SQN
(Chris Papas)
 

RIMPAC 84 
RIMPAC 84
Buck Hennessy , Gerry Willems, 
a yank gunnie, Ross Thomasson 
Changmai Thailand 
just before a big night out
Jan05 
(Coges)


Don Egan, Frols, Dave McO and Coges

 

 

 

 

 

Lucas Badges


Actual Signs

KNOWING THE SIGNS

St. Barbara.com has been running hot. Billy Connolly’s Kalamunda cousin Rosco, happily ensconced in the Deep West, has finally discovered nostalgia (and neuralgia too for all we know) and realises that he misses the wall full of signs he used to admire as he ate his mexicanas at morning smoko. What’s more he wants to know where they are (the signs, not the mexicanas). Understanding that he will have trouble tracking them down personally, he has called in the experts. Results have been mixed, not to mention of questionable reliability, but read on and make up your own mind.

INTERIM REPORT
We can now report that our Crack Sign Investigators (CSIs) are on the case. Suspects are being hauled in, the females frisked, (because we can) and, if things go well, the Kalamunda cousin of Connolly will have his information before too long.

It all began in November, 1977. CPL Gerard was on exercise AUCKEX ’77, living on RNZAF Hobby and working on RNZAF When You’re Happy with fellow gun plumbers LAC Sam Mango and SGT Hank Beerhall for company.

RNZAF Hobby was a funny old place. Down on the harbour the hangars and slipways, where dear old Sunderlands used to and hang and slip, waited sadly - and in vain - for their seaplanes to return from their last great Fishex. Along one side of the Base explosives of all strengths and hues reclined in tiny white-brick blockhouses, and beside the grass runway, which the resident angry palm trees used on the odd rainless day, was a weatherboard building with a small sign on the front door.

CPL Gerard saw the sign each evening when he went for a jog (it was the only way to keep warm in the infernal Shaky Isles, he’d found). The subject front door was that of the angry palm tree squadron’s orderly room, and the sign itself was right in the middle, at head height.

It was an inauspicious sign. About a foot square, with only the silhouette of a "kneeling Maori warrior" (kMw) holding a spear painted on its white surface in red. No words, no mottos, no mission statements (people didn’t need them in those days, they knew what they were doing and why), just the red warrior and the white background.

The night before returning to Aussie CPL Gerard had been in the Corporal’s Club at Hobby with the rest of the RAAF Techos and their congenial hosts. Between them the Techos had pooled the last of their useless Kiwi cash and had traded it in for beer. Exactly five tepid gallons of it.

How, I can hear you ask, does this rambling fool know just how much beer the last of the Kiwi cash purchased? The answer is as simple as it is disturbing: the barman filled up a five-gallon sheep dip container with a tap at the base, put the last of the Kiwi cash in the till and wished the RAAF Techos the very best of health! Secure in the knowledge that they would never, ever contract Barber’s Pole Worm and Fluke (for it said so on the label) the RAAFies finished AUCKEX ’77 the same way they had begun it: on the pus.

But I digress. CPL Gerard, by now well-and-truly inoculated, found that he couldn’t get the image of the kMw out of his head; so, leaving the Corporal’s Club in a hurry (for the bar was on the second floor), he hurried to the well-remembered door and removed the sign with the help of his trusty pocket knife.

And there is the Genesis of the vast swathe of borrowed signs that at one time graced the walls of 492SQN Armament Section. Within a day of his return CPL Gerard had affixed the stolen (no other word for it) sign to the wall in the smoko area, where it stood silently guarding the ancient Café Bar and Bloo Foxhole’s ashtray.

True, the kMw was lonely for a while, but he soon settled in and got to know the Café Bar and the ashtray, and occasionally had an evening chat with the Visitors Report Here sign on the Flight Sergeant’s office door. By the middle of 1978 he was as much a part of the section as the ever-present pool of blood in front of Yorrick’s locker (Yorrick kept falling off his trail bike at lunchtime – he never broke any bones, he just bled on the floor); but the kMw was about to have company.

In those days CPL Gerard was in the habit of going for a jog every night, and one evening, while pounding the pavements around Elizabeth North*, he ran past St. Barbara Rd. Three blocks later the penny dropped and he turned about, ran back three blocks and stood gazing at the street sign, a tiny light bulb flickering dimly above his head.

* Believe it or not, in those far-off days you could leave your house in Elizabeth’s environs and stand a reasonable chance of returning safely. It was rumoured that you could also do the same thing in Smithfield Plains at the time, but independent verification has never been sighted.

By the time he had returned home the tiny light bulb was emitting a steady glow, and a plan was being hatched. Late the following evening the Gerard family car pulled up beside the aforesaid street sign and CPL Gerard unloaded a ladder and two shifters and began to remove the sign from atop its pole. It put up a good fight, but it was dealing with someone who had actually fitted AERO 14 racks to P3B wing stations, so it had little chance at all really. True to form the good citizens of Elizabeth North neither heard nor saw a thing, and the next morning the Armament Section smoko room had its second sign.

And so the kMw had company. The two signs became firm friends and remained on the smoko room wall even while the 492SQN Armament Section doubled in size during 1979, something considered necessary meet the needs of the ten nifty new P3Cs Ronnie RAAF was procuring on the Lend Lease Plan. 1980 however, was to see procurement of a far more significant type in the form of signs from locations near and far.

February brought CPL Gerard the opportunity to travel to the Land of the Free for the first time, and thus it was that late one quiet evening – while the 92WG Urines were pinging the vast schools of untrained dolphins off Maui – that he and LAC Pete Steinlager borrowed the pickup/ute/SUV/trerk and some tools from the FAK and headed down to the NAS Barber’s Pole Worm Weapons Department.

They had been eying off the sign since they had first seen it. It measured about 4’ x 2’, had a white background and 6” high reflective letters and looked a little like this:

LAC Steinlager and CPL Gerard had it off and in the back of the pickup/ute/SUV/trerk before you could say ‘Michelob’, and within five minutes it was underneath CPL Gerard’s mattress in the BEQ (Budweiser’s empty quickly). Three weeks later it was adorning the wall at 492 Armament, looking quite natty beside the kMw and St. Barbara Rd.

Things began to gather pace. Three or four months later CPL Gerard was back at RNZAF When You’re Happy with SGTs Brownhouse and Blunt-End and LACs Gerry Baden-Powell and Stu Baitlayer. Their P3s were merrily pinging herds of Patagonian Tooth Fish and dropping war-surplus MK44 torpedoes on war-surplus RAN submarines when Gerard and Baden-Powell procured the next sign very early one frosty Auckland morning.

It was a beauty too. Sitting above the entrance to the South Pacific Poms’ maritime sanctum sanctorum (crew room), it was a painting of a Kiwi P3 on a blue background, and surrounded by the usual mottoes, words of encouragement and identifiers that invariably accompany such images. About the same size as the NAS Barber’s Pole Worm Weapon’s Department hoarding, it took about as long to unhitch, with the aid of two very big screwdrivers, a jemmy and the ‘lorry’ CPL Gerard and LAC Baden-Powell’s hosts had supplied for the duration of their stay. Somewhat to their surprise its absence was never mentioned; perhaps the cleverly-applied words: Removed for refurbishment, by auth. Barracks Painter, hastily penned in texta next to the space where the sign had been, actually fooled the Bleeding Elephant Trackers. Or perhaps not.

Back at EDN it joined the kMw et al and the Gunnies’ smoko room was beginning to look quite homey. 1981 took FLGOFF Maslin’s Beach, FSGT Gerard, CPL Gerard and LAC Gerard to Aloha country as part of 92WG Detachment Gerard. No signs worthy of acquisition were found as the mighty hunter-killer airplanes spent a fortnight pinging the USS Hawkbill (which was actually alongside at the Pearl Sub Base); instead, a large (a very large) version of Ol’ Glory was purchased using some surplus imprest readies.

It looked wonderful on the wall at 492 ARM, and even came in handy for mopping up the suds from around the recently-installed James Cook Memorial Font, which got quite a hammering until the wowsers decided that morale was far too high and ordered the JCMF be permanently disconnected.

In the meantime The Wheel had been entrusted with setting up the armament side of the newly-established 92WGDETA at Air Base Whatsapoundabutterworth? His contribution to the 492ARM wall was a liberated street sign which, instead of bearing the words, Children Crossing, said instead, Where is the Fwd Arm Interconnection Box?, a question that has never been satisfactorily answered.

Back in When You’re Happy (again), CPL Gerard, with LAC Connolly’s Kalamunda Cousin accompanying, relieved the SGTs Mess carpark of its sign, with the help of an understanding (and off duty) Bleeding Elephant Trackeress. Further north the purty-lookin’ Aussie Orions were madly pinging away at the Mariana Trench when LAC Stu Baitlayer found a number plate that he liked on a large American motor vehicle. In lieu of any other sort of relationship he decided to bring it home, and its friendly greeting: Hafa Adai, brightened the smoko room from the second it joined the burgeoning collection back in Aussie.

It was around this time (late ’81 – early ’82 ??) that a RAAF Richmond road sign, to whit: Cracker Stacker Crescent, appeared amongst the display. In true revolutionary spirit Edinburgh’s own French Armouraire, CPL Pierre, is believed to have been the liberator. The gallant Pierre apparently spilled blood during this affaire d’honeur, thereby etching his name (and retching his heart out) gloriously on the pantheon of Maritime Armourers.

Perhaps something that should have been CPL Pierre’s forte was the filching of a bilingual sign from somewhere in Canadia. Plain and utilitarian, it bears the words: Warrant Officers and Sergeants Dining Hall on the upper half and Salle a Manger de Brassards et Sergents on the lower. The mists of time have prevented this investigation uncovering the details of its acquisition, though suspicion falls on The Cisco Kid and his faithful sidekick, Spook. If that reads like a plea for assistance, it’s meant to.

One of the more memorable (and perhaps one of the last) sign acquisitions carried out by the 492SQN Armourers was that which presaged The Mysterious Affair of the Sign from St. Barbara’s Church.

One wonders why it took St. Barby’s Boys so long to realise that there actually was a St. Barbara’s Church two thirds of the way to the Cross Keys Pub from the front gate, and it had a sign - a big one - beside the path out front. Once this fact had been uncovered however, there was no stopping the lads and a raid was set in train. Two of the known perpetrators were SGT Grant Woodworker and CPL Ryan Verboten, though from all accounts there were more; certainly those two would have trouble lifting the sign in question by themselves as it was about 50’ long, 5’ high and 6” thick, as well as being made from a piece of solid mahogany*. It was so big in fact, that the ARDU chopper was seconded for the task of bringing it back to 492SQN*.

* This information furnished by SGT (Ret.) Woodworker

Knowing that it was among friends the sign from St. Barbara’s Church settled in to its new surroundings at once. The Armourers were inordinately proud of it and its particular sentiment, and it seemed that nothing would part them………….. until one of the Edinburgh Chaplains paid the Section a visit.

To this day none of the maritime cracker stackers know whether the Padre was acting on a tipoff or not. Being a true diplomat the gentleman himself would neither confirm nor deny the possibility; what he did say however - in the most tactful of tones apparently – was that the sign should be returned whither it had come with the utmost rapidity, and from all accounts the steely edge in his voice brooked no denial. Chastened, SGT Woodworker and CPL Verboten cranked up the Huey and wockaad back over Salisbury with the speed of a thousand startled gazelles, bringing to an end The Mysterious Affair of the Sign from St. Barbara’s Church. And leaving a large blank area on the Armament Section wall into the bargain.

From this point on the CSIs found that hard data concerning the signs in 492 Armament began to dry up. One SUPMAN arrived back from Wagga with a sign that read: RAAFSTT WARRANT OFFICER DISCIPLINARY, and someone else returned from a somewhere else that had recently lost the sign from outside its DEPLOYMENT STORE, but memories are fading and the interviewees were unable to remember exactly from whence it had come.

With no other rumours or like data to draw on the CSI team is forced to put their investigations on hold until more information can be unearthed. It’s certain that not every sign that graced the wall in 492 Armament Section has been mentioned, and anybody with further information is welcome to transmit it to the Gunnies website grapevine. No responsibility can be taken for its accuracy, or guarantees given that retrospective charges will not be laid sometime in the future.

Chief Crack Sign Investigator (aka Russ King)

Some of the signs in question.

 


Actual Signs

THE BEAR FACTS – HOW 492ARM OBTAINED THE CALIFORNIA STATE FLAG

While St. Barbara’s brethren have been paying the annual homage to their patron saint, and other mere mortals doing likewise to Mammon, your team of consultant Crack Sign Investigators (CSIs) have had their noses to the grindstone and their shoulders to the wheel in search of more information regarding those objects souvenired/borrowed/filched by members of what was 492SQN Armament Section.

Sadly, there is not much to add to our initial missive (save for some extra information regarding the NAS Barber’s Pole Worm Weapons Department sign, courtesy of Billy Connolly’s Kalamunda Cousin, which can be found on the Grapevine), but details pertaining to one incident have come to light: that of the California State Flag.

This questionable episode took place on Tuesday, June 6th, 1989, in the suburbs of San José, in the land of the free and the home of the brave (or is that the land of the brave and the home of the free? We’re never quite sure). CPLFSGT Gerard, CPL Ryan Verboten and LACCAPT Kirk, of Starship Enterprise fame, had been toiling for two weeks in support of a pair of 92Wing’s hunter/killer aeroplanes, which had been pinging pods of Ivan’s nukes all across the Pacific (and earlier Harpooning sailboarders off the coast of Maui), helping to keep the sea lanes free lanes.

On the day in question, CPLFSGT Gerard and CPL Verboten had the watch. On the JO at 0430, the pair had loaded their Urines and waved them off the Moffett Field flight deck by 0930, and, considering that they had done such a terrific job (and knowing that the might hunter-killers wouldn’t be back till around 1700 hrs.), decided to have a little look around the locality.

This proved to be somewhat problematic. Unused to such a sophisticated road system, the pair found themselves driving in ever-decreasing circles around the same spot, which, when they finally managed to actually localise it, turned out to be a place known as The Winchester Mystery House. Badly in need of a comfort stop, Gerard and Verboten pulled into the carpark, and after using the facilities decided to show their gratitude by paying to join a guided tour of this famous and somewhat bizarre mansion.

Briefly, construction of this 160-room shack commenced in 1884, when Mrs. Sarah Winchester, the inheritor of the Winchester firearm fortune (estimated at the time to be in excess of $20 mill……….US) moved to Californiay. Mrs. Winchester was a somewhat gullible sort from all accounts, and when she consulted a medium prior to commencing building a home she was told that to assuage the spirits of those people killed by Winchester firearms (an awful lot of spirits of all kinds we’d venture to say), construction of her house must never cease. If it did, she was told, she would die.

Well, Sarah swallowed this twaddle hook, line, sinker, reel, rod, creel and angler, and for the next 38 years a team of workmen kept adding rooms and fittings to the place. There were no plans, she made things up as she went along until she finally died anyway; surprise, surprise.

Anyway. Gerard and Verboten took the guided tour (quite interesting from all accounts), had a Dr. Pepper (a soft drink that looks – and tastes, according to people who should know - uncannily like what would be found in an incontinent gnat’s colostomy bag) in the adjoining cafeteria, avoided buying any trinkets in the inevitable souvenir shop, and, as they returned to their pickup/SUV/trerk, spied three flagpoles at the edge of the carpark.

Flagpoles, signs, whatever; they appeared as red rags to a bull to the two Aussie Armourers and, a nod being as good as a wink to a blind horse, they knew at once that a free souvenir from the Winchester Mystery House would look very nice on the wall of the section back across the Pacific in Edinburgh, thank you very much.

A quick shoofty around the carpark revealed nothing in the way of major impediments to the planned theft. Further shooftying showed that one flagpole flew the Stars’n’Stripes, one the California State Flag and the third seemed to be an oversized tea towel masquerading as a flag. Knowing that there was already a large (very large you’ll recall, if you’ve read our first report) copy of the Stars’n’Stripes back at the Section, and seldom being in need of a tea towel, Gerard and Verboten decided that the California State Flag was to be the souvenir for them.

Unlocking the pickup/SUV/trerk and cranking up the donk in anticipation of a quick getaway, the pair crossed the carpark – all casual like - unwound the rope on the incorrect flagpole, discovered their error and did the rope up again, unwound the rope on the correct flagpole, lowered the California State Flag, lined up the little metal thingos and separated them, folded the California State Flag reverently, then ran like buggery across the carpark to the waiting pickup/SUV/trerk and laid rubber all the way back to Moffett Field in plenty of time to welcome their P3s back onto the flight deck. All in a day’s work.

Much kudos was afforded the duo in question on their return to EDN, though CPLFSGT Gerard discovered that he had lost the best pair of sunglasses he had ever had during the filching of the California State Flag. The CSI team submits that there is some kind of justice in the loss. CPLFSGT Gerard disagreed when asked. In fact, he said that he didn’t know what we were talking about.

An image of the California State Flag is attached to this report for interest’s sake. Despite uncovering this 
incident your investigation team has been unable to establish the whereabouts of the flag in question. Regardless of indifference (both official and otherwise – mainly otherwise) to its quest for answers, your CSIs will continue to seek the present location of all those ‘souvenirs’ from the former 492SQN Armament Section.
Forwarded for your information,
Chief Crack Sign Investigator (CSI)

 

 

 

 

KNOWING THE SIGNS

Some of the signs captured by 492 Sqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russ King's Photos - Album 1
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Index page 1 of 2
pic01.jpg(114 KB)
27Feb79, creation of the new 492SQN Arm Section gets under way
pic02.jpg(117 KB)
Vic Robertson and Pete Cesco commence the consecration ceremony for the new 492 Arm Sect. Sharp eyes will notice WOFF Trevor MacIntosh and Julie Roberton enjoying the ritual.
pic03.jpg(106 KB)
Inaugural 492SQN CO, WGCDR Cyril Wetherall, formally opens 492 Arm. Looking on is FLGOFF Eric Easterbrook, OIC ARM, and in the background are Gary Bowman, Paul Boydell and SQNLDR Bob Crockart.
pic04.jpg(118 KB)
24SQN Armourer, SGT John Sharpe-Hall (right) and 24SQN SENGO, SQNLDR Ozzie Grotto playing up on a 92 Wing deployment.
pic05.jpg(67.5 KB)
Mal MacKinnon looking dapper during a TAMEX.
pic06.jpg(72.4 KB)
Bill Cradock crash-testing the furniture on a very early 92WGDETA push.
pic07.jpg(107 KB)
John Clarkson getting a better view during the social phase of RIMPAC ’80.
pic08.jpg(98.5 KB)
Kev Driscoll instructing a USN Ordnanceman at RIMPAC ’80.
pic09.jpg(85.5 KB)
Vic Robby making friends with a MK44 torpedo.
pic10.jpg(80.7 KB)
Rosco McCaig unpacking sonobuoys on the ramp at NAS Barber’s Point.
pic11.jpg(83.2 KB)
An unknown member of 492 Arm gets a tan in Waikiki.
pic12.jpg(147 KB)
Three 492 Armourers show what they think of the service at the Richmond boozer during a Tamex. They are nos. 6, 7 & 8 from the left; can anyone identify them?
pic13.jpg(101 KB)
Bowdog and Al Hunt counsel a queer trader after the 1980 492SQN Social Club Car Rally.
pic14.jpg(78.0 KB)
Rosco McCaig trying to escape from Medical Section during K81 at Townsville.
pic15.jpg(129 KB)
Tom Hewitt, the MacDonnell Douglas Field Rep. who taught 492 Armourers all about Harpoon and its related bits.
pic16.jpg(82.3 KB)
Gerry Willems, tired and emotional and a long way from home.
pic17.jpg(98.4 KB)
Pete Steiner, also tired and emotional in the rack next door to Gerry Willems.
pic18.jpg(116 KB)
John Clarkson, obviously concerned at the sob story he appears to be getting from an Airborne Eating Officer.
pic19.jpg(105 KB)
Christmas Breakup 1981 at Vic and Julie Robertson’s Salisbury hacienda. Vic is carving, watched by Kev Driscoll, Mick and Carol Wilcock and Peter Steiner.
pic20.jpg(137 KB)
Tucker time, Christmas ’81. Wayne Latham eats, Chris Papas and Megan Cook listen to Dave Evans, and in the background Bob White unwraps his present.
pic21.jpg(127 KB)
Late in the day, Christmas ’81. Gary Marshall (24SQN), Rosco McCaig, Greg Rowe, Gerry Willems and Chris Papas enjoying a fraternal chat.
pic22.jpg(90.3 KB)
Wally Latham, hoping his Mum isn’t watching.
pic23.jpg(59.2 KB)
Robby, Pete Steiner, Ray Palmer and the remains of an unknown airman.
pic24.jpg(111 KB)
Dream on boys. Mick Case, Stu Cook, Pete Steiner, John Clarkson, Wayne Latham and Vic Robertson fantasise with a distinctly non-maritime piece of ordnance.
pic25.jpg(86.2 KB)
That’s more like it. Wayne Latham tightens the fins on an AGM84.
pic26.jpg(83.2 KB)
Mick Lewis learning the basics.
pic27.jpg(106 KB)
Dedicated to an unnamed member of 492 Arm.
pic28.jpg(90.3 KB)
A nickname is born. ‘Linenback’ Latham hard at it during RIMPAC ’82.
pic29.jpg(161 KB)
Perhaps the best pub in the world. The Puhoi Hotel, north of Auckland.
pic30.jpg(82.5 KB)
Andrew Simunsen waiting for his turn.
pic31.jpg(57.9 KB)
Simmo and Pete Steiner wait for the steamboat, 92WGDETA, March 1984.
pic32.jpg(98.6 KB)
Gerry Willems pretending to be a sonobuoy at Kedah Falls.
pic33.jpg(94.1 KB)
Buck Hennessy, Gerry Willems, tame seppo, Ross Thomasson, Mick Lewis and Ben Plociennek after loading the RIMPAC ’84 Harpoon.
pic34.jpg(97.8 KB)
A sceptic’s view of 207 time.
pic35.jpg(67.1 KB)
Ross Marrett opens his 20th birthday present.
pic36.jpg(86.2 KB)
Typical maritime exercise attitude.
pic37.jpg(87.0 KB)
Typical maritime après-exercise attitude.
pic38.jpg(69.1 KB)
What Armourers think bombs are for.
pic39.jpg(44.6 KB)
An historical newspaper clipping.
pic40.jpg(70.2 KB)

The always-incorrect Gus Walters trying to attract the attention of Mr. Vice at a 92WGDETA Dining-In Night.

 

 

Index page 2 of 2
 
 
 
pic43.jpg(93.5 KB)
Mick Case and John Sharpe-Hall with a piece of vintage maritime machinery at RNZAF Whenuapai, 1980.
pic44.jpg(97.4 KB)
Mick Case tests out the locally-designed Harpoon load adaptor on the tarmac at Edinburgh. Made by the squadron GSE troops, it worked a treat, and saved a lot of mucking around.
pic45.jpg(106 KB)
Dave Evans and Peter Grant share their combined wisdom over a cold one at St. Barbara’s Day, 1982.
pic46.jpg(80.0 KB)
Gerry Willems shows what could happen if the Sono Safety Door isn’t open on the ground. The picture was one of a series of locally-made safety posters.
pic47.jpg(130 KB)
Bomb race at St. Barbara’s Day celebrations in 1982. Left to right are: Craig Ryder, Mick Lewis, Ben Kenobi, Wayne Latham, Chris Papas and unknown.
pic48.jpg(125 KB)
Mike Swan or Wyne Gane lead off the sonobuoy toss.
pic49.jpg(128 KB)
Wally Bagger feels the strain.
pic50.jpg(146 KB)
The ceremonial cannon firing in honour of our patron saint.
pic51.jpg(150 KB)
The old and the bold, Dan Reavey and Dave Evans, St. Barbara’s Day 1982.
pic52.jpg(141 KB)
The young and the restless, Chris Papas and Mick Wilcock.
pic53.jpg(125 KB)
Chris and Pete Cesco and Sid Snograss, Christmas ’82.
pic54.jpg(95.1 KB)
Pete Adnams and a headless Dave Williams unloading during Exercise Flying Fish, March 1985.
pic55.jpg(71.3 KB)
Ash Kirk and an unnamed compatriot during TAMEX-2, 1985.
pic56.jpg(123 KB)
Bruce Cooper putting in the big ones at TAMEX-2
pic57.jpg(113 KB)
Brett Petersen, Bill Hewson and Mick Gower give one of the sumpies the benefit of their company during a night out on Penang.
pic58.jpg(90.1 KB)
Mick Gower and Brett Petersen wait for their P3 to return.
pic59.jpg(55.2 KB)
Sammy, the legendary 92GWDETA Hut Boy.
pic60.jpg(121 KB)
Jalan, Jalan. Bill Hewson all set to terrorise Penang.
pic61.jpg(124 KB)
Brett Petersen and Mick Gower looking out for one another on the Rock.
pic62.jpg(80.7 KB)
Fess Marrett, looking as suave as ever as he leaves the DETA blocks for a taxi ride to Haadyai.
pic63.jpg(93.7 KB)
Mick Gower’s Buck’s Do, 1985. Standing left to right: Al Hunt, Russ King, Terry Stamp, Phil Abrahams, Gav Cato, Pete Hillard, Ben Kenobi, Brett Petersen, Jerry Kelder, Gerry Darcy and Bill Hewson. Middle: Dave Williams, Gary Kohn and Billy Punter. Front: Bob Drury, Kent Lee, the dashing Groom and Barney Barnett. Comatose in front: Blu Romer.
pic64.jpg(92.3 KB)
Gerry Darcy (bottom left), Ben Plociennek, Mick Gower and Al Hunt.
pic65.jpg(74.8 KB)
Stompa finally realises that maritime Armourers are no different to the fighter boys.
pic66.jpg(87.1 KB)
Bob Drury prepares for the second sitting.
pic67.jpg(79.9 KB)
Russ King rants, Ken Lee sips and Stompa looks disgusted.
pic68.jpg(84.1 KB)
Kent Lee, the morning after.
pic69.jpg(52.8 KB)
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Cooper.
     

 

 

 

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