Colin "Joe" Mezzina
AirArm & Gas Sch.1944
Joe Mezzina (ex WOFF) passed away on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday 2 July. He died in hospital from a coronary.
For all those who knew him, please attend:
The service will be held on Tuesday at 2.00pm 08/Jul/2008 Gregson and Wright Maroochydore Funeral Home
Joe Mezzina and I go way back to 22 sqd in 1954, I As an LAC ex apprentice armourer and he was my Corporal. We had to fix problems the reservists caused, which wasn't much for armament, so we played many games of cards an guess who won, Joe,.
We were great mates way back then 54 years ago and of course we drifted apart.
Ex dewdrop (3rd Armament Fitter Apprentice) and ex LAC Armament Fitter 1CR
I knew Joe from somewhere, may have been 11 Sqn.
He moved into my married quarter in Smithfield (Edinburgh SA) when I left the airforce for a short while.
Sad loss of a great character.
John Saunders (also No3 ARMFITTs)
This is a sad day to see one of the older Stalwarts pass on. Joe Mezzina was really one of the older, genuine, breed of Warrant Officers who really knew what it meant to wear the Queen’s Warrant. Commonly known as “The Angry Ant”, I met Joe when I first arrived in Butterworth in 1965. Joe, at the time, was the resident Armament Warrant Officer of No 3 Squadron. The word was that Joe was the one who really ran the squadron! There were numerous incidents, far too many to mention here, where Joe stuck his neck out and made major executive decisions affecting the flying and armament programmes of the squadron in order to maintain aircraft serviceability and the safety of his men and of the aircraft. (Ask John Ferguson about Joe). Many can testify that Joe Mezzina and Trevor McIntosh made a formidable team. I am also told that when Joe took his turn to serve as a Warrant Officer at Ubon, he ran the place there like a Swiss watch as well. Later, on my arrival at the Maritime units in Edinburgh, I mentioned that I had briefly worked under Joe at 3SQN in Butterworth, many did not realise that he served with brilliance on a fighter squadron, they thought that Joe spent a lot of time on Maritime units, including 11 SQN. He truly was a wonderful leader and a gentleman under whom it was a privilege to serve.
My apologies for being able not being able to attend the service this coming Tuesday.
I knew Joe Mezzina as WOFF I/C of the area at Kingswood when I was a very young gunnie. At first he was a bit frightening, but I soon realised that behind that tough exterior was a kind and dare I say "fatherly" figure. Joe was a good boss and a man I admired greatly.
Rest in peace old mate.
I knew Joe quite well. He was my boss at 2AD, 3Sqn B'worth and Borneo. A great(lil) character as fiery as they come. A fine Gunnie who stuck up for us against the rest. He rescued me and a lot of others on several occasions, in Borneo and Butterworth.
I shall write later of our Borneo Attachment.
For now, here is another Gunnie of the old school who will always remain in our hearts and minds.
May God Bless You
I first met" The Angry Ant" at Kingswood in 1962, when he gave us a lecture on Target Indicating Bombs.
My next encounter was in 1974, I was posted into 11Sqn from Butterworth as a brand new Sgt and Joe was the section W/Off.
After completing my Orion conversion course he put me in charge of the Flight Line crew, after the full on activity of a mirage Sqn this seemed like a holiday camp. Day one 8 o'clock making myself familiar with the troops, In walks Joe, what have you done about this, this and that. Of course he had gone straight to the flight desk and then to confront me with the questions that muggins didn't have the answers to, lesson one beat the boss to work by five minutes so you already know the questions before they are asked, after that no problems. He was like that with every move I had through the section, if you performed to his satisfaction you were OK. He was a hard taskmaster but fiercely loyal to his troops, woe betide any queer trade who stepped on our toes.
The gruff exterior was really just a defence mechanism, underneath he was a good friend and a good boss.
Please give my condolences to Joe's family. I remember Joe as a great bloke who led me on the right path when I entered RAAF KINGSWOOD as a new chum.
I am sure we will meet again some day Joe.
Pete (LAC) lamprey.
Vale Joe Mezzina. This feisty, tough little bloke was maritime armament when I first arrived at Edinburgh, and had been for a long time previous.
A great deal of any good things I may have done in that environment is directly attributable to his no nonsense and common sense approach to running a section and dealing with people.
My deepest condolences to his family.
Joe Mazzina aka The Angry Ant; I only worked briefly with him in Ubon, Thailand; he went back to Butterworth on the ‘Herc’ a fortnight after the ‘Hurc’ I came on. He had a problem tracking down ‘LAC Lizzard’, our name for a resident ‘Papasan Gecko’ on the roll; and if my memory serves me right, he taught the ‘hut boy’ to wake him with the greeting of ‘good morning sir, c-u-r, Fu#k Air Board’ just to brighten the morning. He seemed to always be popping up at bases where I was either based or on exercise at and I formed a good relationship with him at those times.
He was a part of a trilogy of vertically challenged Warrant Officers that I had a fair amount of contact with in the RAAF. They were Joe Mazzina, Tich Nightingale and Bob Bedson and when they were all together it was like an ant’s nest had been disturbed. All were memorable WOFF Gunnies and not the least Joe. Joe will certainly be missed and fondly remembered amongst our cast and I offer my sincerest condolences to all his family. Sorry I was unable to attend the service.
Till we meet again, RIP Joe.
When I was posted to 11Sqn Joe was the WO there. He soon knocked the cocky know all into shape.
Ken Edwards showed me the path on being an Armourer. Joe Mazzina showed me how to be an Armourer and Peter Grant polished up the rest.
Remember this .. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and left his footprints there forever. Joe Mazzina walked amongst us and his footprints will remain with us forever!
I first worked with Joe Mezzina at 11 Sqn, Neptunes at Richmond, mid 1956. During my 35 years service I had the pleasure of further contacts with Joe at 2AD in 63/64 and RAAF Edinburgh where he worked on Orions and I was at ARDU.
I lost contact with him when he retired. However, we met again at Strathpine Shopping center in 1988 which led him to move to the Sunshine Coast. Almost as soon as he moved here he encouraged me to set up a regular blind poker game at my place. Although Joe gave away coming to the game held every three weeks, about two months ago, the school continues and Joe is always discussed during the game. We on the Sunshine Coast have had the benifit of Joe's company for the last 18 years. Almost a lifetime of joy for some. This was reflected in the presence of six of his present and past poker playing mates at his funeral service.
All the acolades that have been posted here barely do justice to this fine man and yes, he did set the yardstick for all Armament, Warrant Officers.
There are uncountable ex apprentices, graduate adult trainees and junior Armament Officers who were tutored, by this great mentor and led in the right direction, safely through the many passage ways of the Armament profession.
Dave Scott [SqnLdr Rtd].
Daffodil No. 6 Armfitts [7 Appy Intake]
On behalf of my Mother, brother Len and myself, the tributes to Dad not only shows the respect he had for his fellow RAAF colleagues but the respect you had for him.
His memories will live long with all of us.
To those who attended his farewell we thank you.
Sorry to hear of joe's passing.he was a great gunnie and a good mate.
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