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Des Stark and Gordon Hampson
58 - 59 Williamtown

(Photo by Dennis McSparron)
1958-62?
Names required for anyone in this photo taken at Wlm 1958-62 
(1.) Pacho Gallagher or Dave Edwick (2.) “Shorty” Thompson, (3.) “Speedie” Whiddon, ( 4.) Nev Hite, (5) Zap Zap Thorpe (framie), (6) Leo Pike 
(names from Des Stark and Kev Stapleton)

Tubby Littlefield  and Dan McCann
Airmens Boozer 1967
(schooners at 1 and 9 pence halfpenny)

Littlefield_McCann.JPG (40421 bytes)

481 (M) Squadron 1973
(Norrie Norris)

Back Row L to R: Bernie Defrickbom, Les Poustie, ?, Barry (Wheels) Waggenfeller, Col Walker,  ?, ?, Dennis Cooper, ?
Front Row: Vern Sams, Adrian (Norrie) Norris, Merv Skinner, ?, Roger Killeen, John Steinbeck, ?, Errol O'Hara, Ralph Gradidge

481SQN Gunnies taken  at Saltash Airweapons Range.- Nov 19 83

Top Deck;
 John Frohlich, Paul Graham, Dave Jeffrey, Bob Pardon, Mick Robinson, P.J.Hall, Despina
Tramandonis, Moon Gardiner, Yogi Anderson, Strotzy, Jeff Simpson, Frog Taylor, Spadge.

Back Row; Graham Kling, Steve Smith, Rick O'Shea, Mal Armstrong,? ,? ,?, ? Jones,
Mid Row; Moose Malone, Denis Jordan, George Keith Mollet, John Betts, Greg Brydon, Phil Knight.
Watkinson, Andrew Chapman, Russ Rielly, Andrew Howard, Brett Hyland,
Ray Beckett, Shane Bainbridge, Chucky, Greg Holloway, Neil Timsen.
Front Row Left: Bob Baker, Sparrow Gardiner, 
Sitting: Rod Wilson, Dick Drover, Jim Hickey, Brian Cather, Pete Hampton, Trevor Grant, Bert Reynolds, Noel Dibble.
Kneeling; Judy Garland, Andy Blaylock.

Saltash AWR Ariel View 1997
(Tim Walk)

Tim Walk
3sqn_oops.jpg
OOPs
75-willy.JPG
75-Willy

 

Ammo Prep Leigh McQualter Wlm. around 1984
Leigh_Mcqualter.jpg (25429 bytes)
They breed them tough

 

(Des Stark)

Williamtown Nov 1985
( Percy Moles)

Back Row: Paul Graham, Kim Judd, PJ Hall, Odie Kolossa, Judy Garland,
Mick Terakes, Noel Freeman (GH), Don Whichello, Sparra Gardiner, 
Bob Baker, Rod Wilson, John Youd, Brian McGlinchey, Gary Kembrey, 
Mal Armstrong.
Front Row: Brad Beach, Marty Ryan McCormack, Andy Blaylock, Chuck Gower, 
Jeremy Loth, Yogi Anderson, Jock Lawrie, Clive (Da Boss) Rossiter,
Paul Write, Phil Downie, Jack Withers, Marty Middleton,
SD Jones. 
Absent: Frank Williams, Ken Dolan, Dogs Donaghy, Frog Taylor,
Posted Out: Jock Lawrie To 2FTS, Ken Dolan To 20CU
Posted For Discharge: SD (Special Delivery) Jones
 

SGTS Mess Dining In Night early 80's

Bob Clarke and Jock Lawrie

 


 

No 2 OCU 1968
(Graeme Monkhouse)

2 OCU ?

Alan Gibbs, Graham Pickering, 
George Robson, Chris Knowles
John Wills

Before the MJ1 ?

(Buck Rogers)

The photo of the gunpack, a RAAF photo found somewhere or another, 
has a pencilled note on the back "R Warrell OCU'.

Airflite Williamtown
(Gary Jeffery) 

Here is a group of happy Gunnies proving that there is life after the Air Force, as a Gunnie.
Back Row Turtle Mortimer, Mick Robertson ( Robbo going Nursing), Bunya Jeffery, Dick Hails
Front Sparra Gardiner
 

Hunter/BAE
(Gary Jeffery)

These gunnies work for Hunter/BAE, Noel Dippel (bigger and better)the stores person, Peter Donaghy(dogs body) and Robert Hilton (Kaffa Kisser)

Airflite carries out B/S and O/H of the Following HAWK Lead -in- Fighter equipment,AU10LH seats, Gun Pods, Mk 5 Aden Gun, Pylons,CBLS(Bomb Carrier), PSP's,Parachutes and ESV's (explosive start valves). We employ 5 GUNNIES to carry out the above servicing, based in the BAE complex opposite the RAAF base.
 

 


 

481(M) SQN 1973
(Norrie Norris)


Back Row L to R: Bernie Defriskbom, Les Poustie, ?, Barry (Wheels) Waggenfeller, Col Walker,  ?, ?, Dennis Cooper, ?
Front Row: Vern Sams, Adrian (Norrie) Norris, Merv Skinner, ?, Roger Killeen, John Steinbeck, ?, Errol O'Hara, Ralph Gradidge

 


 

481SQN Gunnies taken  at Saltash Airweapons Range.- Nov 1983

Top Deck;
 John Frohlich, Paul Graham, Dave Jeffrey, Bob Pardon, Mick Robinson, P.J.Hall, Despina
Tramandonis, Moon Gardiner, Yogi Anderson, Strotzy, Jeff Simpson, Frog Taylor, Spadge.

Back Row; Graham Kling, Steve Smith, Rick O'Shea, Mal Armstrong,? ,? ,?, ? Jones,
Mid Row; Moose Malone, Denis Jordan, George Keith Mollet, John Betts, Greg Brydon, Phil Knight.
Watkinson, Andrew Chapman, Russ Rielly, Andrew Howard, Brett Hyland,
Ray Beckett, Shane Bainbridge, Chucky, Greg Holloway, Neil Timsen.
Front Row Left: Bob Baker, Sparrow Gardiner, 
Sitting: Rod Wilson, Dick Drover, Jim Hickey, Brian Cather, Pete Hampton, Trevor Grant, Bert Reynolds, Noel Dibble.
Kneeling; Judy Garland, Andy Blaylock.

Evans Head 1977
Evans Head Bombing Range
This photo was taken in about 1977 when the Electronic Scorer was taken from Williamtown to use at Evans Head
Bill Riley at gate to Evans Head

 


Peter Rentell's Account of crash at Saltash Air Weapons Range 29/10/75


Photo of the actual aircraft courtesy Rod Farquhar and ADF Serials
http://www.adf-serials.com/3a7.shtml

How to destroy a Macchi in three seconds:

It was around mid-October in 1975 (a month before the big Dismissal) - Pete Rentell was a couple of weeks away from departing for 75SQN to replace Barry Wynne as the 75SQN ARMO. This was seen by the entire 481SQN Armament Section as a good excuse for a barbeque - they were glad to see him going to annoy someone else! There was no weapons program that afternoon for Salt Ash, the sun was warm, steaks were great, the beer cold - cannot recall just who was there, but from dim recall I can picture Dick Drover, Ron McClelland, and Brian Stewart - they starred later. Importantly I was the only officer on-site.

An un-named 'other' decided that the afternoon was a bit quiet, so a call was made to the various unit Ops Desks to the effect that if there were any aircraft in the area over the succeeding 30 minutes or so, then a quick blatt past the range quadrant would really be appreciated by those present. This drew an unexpected response - suddenly any number of Mirages turned up and some quite impressive low flying ensued - those of the group quick enough to get to the quadrant hut landing had birds-eye views of Mirages going past below the level of the landing (eye-watering), all saw low-level aeros at their best (startlingly low). The melee eventually wound down as the jets (now no doubt low on fuel) departed the fix. Then things got quiet again. Gee that was great.

The boys were settling back to their beers when a lone Macchi arrived in the pattern. This seemed innocuous enough after the earlier hi-jinks, but this aircraft proceeded to put on one hell of a display - importantly, not apparently as risky as the earlier Mirage antics. This went on for a few minutes before what was to be the finale.

The Macchi did a normal approx 500 ft AGL S&L run-in toward the target area, pulled up to about a 30 degree climb and at about 2000 ft rolled inverted while maintaining the climb (yeah, that's neat). By this stage the jet is some way down-range and obviously decelerating. Wonder of wonders, it then pitches down (remembering it is inverted, which means a pull effort by the pilot) - in Knuck language the whole manoeuvre is a half-roll and pull-through. Immediately even the non-educated could see that trouble was brewing - the jet is slow, now back to perhaps 1500 ft AGL, and pointing straight at the earth. The boys went quiet.

The trees off behind the target area are approximately 80 ft high (this came out the subsequent court-martial). About half way between where the jet started its descent and the trees we all had a very clear plan silhouette of a Macchi 326. Oh no!

But wait, when all seems lost the aircraft starts to recover from the dive (from vertical to about 45 degrees nose down) at which time it disappears behind the trees - but there were no crumping sounds or other indications of sudden arrestation of motion - perhaps all is well?

By this stage time is in slow motion.

Now we get another silhouette of a Macchi 326 - this time almost head-on and roughly in the reciprocal direction to the approach, but off the south of the target area, and seen through the tree canopies. Wow - the aircraft is flying through the tops of the trees - branches are going everywhere.

The mind plays tricks when it has to process a lot of new information in a short time - as the tree cutting is in process there is a clear whomp/whomp sound and two small bone-coloured parachutes appear ('I didn't know that that Macchis had parachute flares' was my immediate reaction) - seat drogues. Then quick as a flash they become two larger white parachutes, and very close to the trees - oh dear.

But the parachute spectacle was nothing compared to what was going on in the tree tops - the now unoccupied jet continued through the tree tops for about a nanosecond until the RH wing collected a substantial vertical branch at about half-span, which separated the outer section of the wing. The resultant induced cartwheel effect meant that aircraft now dashed itself to pieces (many of which were very small!) as it proceeded back up range toward the access road. Accompanying the newly laid wreckage trail was a line of initially small fires.

The only officer present suddenly found out what the words 'aghast' and 'transfixed' mean.

Fortunately the boys had much presence of mind - I think it was Dick Drover who phoned the Duty Controller - who did not want to believe him - the officer by this stage had recovered at least part of his equilibrium and was able confirm the original message and also suggest that the Tower folks should have a look to the north at the now growing smoke column.

While this was going on, perhaps it was Brian Stewart and Ron McClelland and several others, who immediately headed off with the range vehicle in the direction of the last sighting of the parachutes. In no time they were back with two immaculately attired pilots (I was amazed - it was as though they had just stepped out of the crew-room - their flying boots were still shiny! - there was still some attention to clean shoes/boots in those days). This was in stark contrast to the apocalyptic background scene of a well-trashed aircraft spread across about half a mile of now well-burning scrub. Fortunately both were essentially unharmed, albeit that one did sustain a minor spinal injury as is common with ejections.

From then on things settled down. The fire service arrived, along with the expected senior folks and general hangers-on. There was much post-incident hassling (including some Mirage pilots who were in a real sweat), along with a court-martial in Dec - but this is for another story.

What had not occurred to me until I stated this little burst is - what would have been the outcome if the aircraft had been headed perhaps ten degrees more toward the quadrant building? - we may have had a closer involvement than being spectators! 

Cheers 
PR

Note*
Aircraft details obtain from http://www.adf-serials.com/3a7.shtml 
A7-065 CA30-65 First flight 24/10/69. Delivered 11/11/69. 
Served with 2 OCU. 
Crashed 29/10/75 Saltash Range NSW (2OCU). Aircraft struck trees during dive recovery on range. 
Crew ejected at 70-90 ft and 180-200 kts with only minor injuries. 
Crew were FLTLT Bryan Sweeney and FLGOFF George Clayton. 
RAAF Ejection number 45.
Image of A7-065. from http://www.adf-serials.com/3a7.shtml 

Saltash Airweapons Range Ariel View
by Tim Walk 

Target Area

 

 


Williamtown Armourers 1958
(photo from Dennis McSparron) 
WLM58

 

(1) Pacho Gallagher or Dave Edwick. (2) “Shorty” Thompson, (3) “Speedie” Whiddon, ( 4) Nev Hite, (5) Zap Zap Thorpe (framie), (6) Leo Pike 
(names from Des Stark and Kev Stapleton)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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