WOFF George Pierce Howells
Died Penrith 14JUN1994
Extracted from his Biography (starting with) AAA News August 2002,
"George Howells was born on a farm called “Merrill Vale, three kilometres from the small town of Ariah Park, South Western NSW.
His father was a farmer and an accomplished pianist. In the first two chapters of his autobiography, George writes about his youth as a “bushy” and how he enjoyed life experiencing the country life that eventually gave him the skills in mechanics and the ability to repair tractors and engines.
The first chapter begins where George enters WWII and from this event his life was changed that lead him into the wonderful career as a Gunnie.
I had the privilege of serving under him as an LAC at 1CAMD then known as 1 Central Reserve. I arrived there on posting on the 24th January 1962 and was in the same room as Ray Telfer, I was sent to work in the Old Farm House on the Hill (where they built the two Non Explosive Hangers in the mid 60’s just up from the then new Bomb Line Servicing Building). The old farm house was at the time the mainArmament Repair and Maintenance area and its rooms and verandahs were used to service non explosive items such as bomb tails, rocket motor fins, etc. It was also here where George had his office. Situated within 40 feet were two lots of Igloo buildings where all the WWII bombs were serviced.
It was George’s habit to settle every one into the task of the day, followed by his daily ritual where he would pick up the daily paper and wander of into the surrounding bush,. On his return he would inevitable say “There is nothing like the grass tickling your arse”.
Yes George was still a bushie at heart and was a great person to work for.
Gunnies do it with a bang
Regards and best wishes
William Altman (known as "Bill" to all of us who know him well)
I knew George Howells in the late 50’ (as did all the ex appy’s who went from RSTT to 2AD). There were quite a few characters in George’s 2AD Armament Section in those years.
FSGT George Wright, SGT’s Bill Flynn (of one arm fame), Bob (Polkie) Pacholke (the King of foreign orders) and Gill Cosh, backed up by Sephous (spelling?) Comer, Horrible Hunt, Twisty Highland, Max Love, Kanga Kennedy and others whose names escape me at the moment.
The ex appy’s were from the Rosebud’s intake No. 10. Blue West, Russ Olsson, Laurie Dicker, the late Cliffy Morgan and myself.
The odd memory comes back about 100 or so Aden guns c/w boxes that were moved about once a month from Point A to Point B, to Point C and back to Point A just for us to have something to put on our timesheets. There was also the 24 brand new 20mm guns that went missing from the 2AD Armament Section. George Wright (the Master of SAV’s) wrote them off. They later turned up on top of the 22 SQN Armament Toolstore along with many previously unknown 20mm with strange serial numbers. Seems they came back from Korea with 77 SQN, the previous owners of 22 SQN’s Meteor aircraft. The Account’s must have really been impressed with George’ and George’s explanatory SAV.
I visited George at his Emu Plains place a number of times with my late father-in-law, Lloyd Pretty (a WOE not a gunnie). He wasn’t any different in later years than he was as the WOFF (Dad) at 2AD to us impressionable ex Appy’s.