It’s with great sadness that I inform you of the death of wartime RAAF Armourer, 49271, LAC Michael Farrell, my stepfather of 35 years.
Michael Schiller Farrell was born in the South Gippsland town of Fish Creek in 1923, and educated at St. Patrick’s College, Sale.
Enlisting two days after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Mike completed his initial Armament training at Point Cook in April 1942. He served in 5 Squadron at Laverton, Oakey and Rockhampton till September, when he was posted to Hamilton, Victoria, for No. 36 Fitter Armourer’s Course, which he completed on October 10th.
From Hamilton he went to No. 2 Operational Training Unit at Mildura, and was reclassified LAC on January 10th, 1943, just before being posted to 84 Squadron the following month. With 84 Squadron he saw active service on Horn Island, then proceeded on postings to 3 Repair & Salvage Unit Aikenvale, 13 Advanced Repair Depot Breddan and No. 1 Aircraft Depot at Laverton before discharging in December, 1945.
Following three years study under the post-war Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, Mike graduated from the University of Melbourne with a degree in science and returned to his pre-war employment at the Maryvale Paper Mill, in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
In 1957 he commenced employment with the Australian Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights, NSW, and went on to become a Senior Research Scientist. Following three years at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. as the Atomic Energy Attaché, Mike returned to Australia in 1970, and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Department as an advisor on Nuclear Science & Technology.
When he retired Mike had risen to the position of First Assistant Secretary in the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.
He leaves behind five children, four step-children and many devoted grand and great-grand children.
So be it.