Imnants (Jim) Kaulins
No 18 RAAF Armament Fitter Course 1959
Jim Kaulins died aged 63 in Blacktown, NSW. 08JUL88 (SMH)
I knew Jim at Williamtown and Butterworth in the 1960's. Apparently he was a Latvian immigrant who adopted the name Jim. I know he was also in Ubon with 79 Sqn and Vietnam with 9 Sqn. Rumours said that he served with the German army on the "Russian Front" ???. A quiet single man and a good worker, well liked and a fond of a drink or two, like most of us gunnies.
I knew him at Canberra when I was in 34sqn and he was in No 9 Sqn at the time. I remember him going on the CO’s parade this day decked out in full medals, the only trouble was, he was wearing his “Iron Cross”. For this he was escorted off the parade. We had a laugh about this later .
Ian (Blue) West
Jim was my first CPL when I got posted to Butterworth in 1975. I asked him one day about how he ended up in the German Army seeing that he was a Latvian. His answer was that the Germans had a very powerful recruiting incentive. Join the SS or get shot! I believe his next words were Seig Heil.
In another of our conversations I found out why he wouldn't drive. Not long after arriving in Australia, he had accidentally hit and killed a child that had run onto the road. With that death coming on top of his experiences in Europe he decided that he didn't want to be responsible for any more.
I found Jim to be a generous man with a good sense of humour until he got a few beers in him. He then could get a little stroppy, but as he would by that time be speaking Latvian or German and we couldn't understand either, it didn't matter.