Vol 12

Page 7


Darwin to Mandorah  —  1975    


The photos on this page were sent in by Gary Butler who was in Darwin in the 70’s and shows a bunch of Darwin blokes on one of their many trips down to Mandorah. Those with bikes rode, those without rode in the van with the spares, booze, food, booze, fuel, booze, bedding and booze.  Names run L-R.


About half way there, Trevor Bayliss (Telstech), Sid McPhail (Radio), Tony Mackrill (Radio), Roger O’Sullivan (Radio), Kev Harrington (Radio), Bob Goonan (Radio), Brian Wamsley (Telsop) and others.


Gary Butler—bush bashing. Gary still has the bike, a 1975 Yamaha YT250B, still with its NT rego plate, and is often seen out at night hooning around the Chermside shopping centre (Qld) car park.


Bob Goonah - getting HDA as a bait layer.



Sex at age 90 is a bit like trying to play snooker with a piece of rope.



George Butler (radio) and Ted Washbrook (radio) enjoying a coldie.


Bob Goonan, Roger O’Sullivan and Brian Wamsley—smoko down the track.


Bob Goonan, Ted Washbrook, Roger O’Sullivan and George Butler.

What could be more nutritious, a cold beer and a hot Salada….



My sister used to have a boy friend with a wooden  leg—but she broke it off.



A bloke went to the doctor and said “Doctor, I feel like I’m falling to pieces.” 

The doctor said “Sit down son and pull yourself together.”                            Sorry…..




RAAF Caribou at Mendi in the Southern Highlands of PNG in 1972, parked behind one of the locals who has his Sunday lunch in tow. This aircraft was probably up there for the “gamin famine” - but we won’t go into that - will we Les!!!!.  


Duty crew.


A few of us were chatting about ‘the old days’ and the topic of Duty Crew came up, and we wondered whether Duty Crew is still the great bludge it used to be. It seems back in the late 60’s the duty crew format was the same no matter where you were, as we compared stories from Richmond and from Amberley and they were similar. We wonder if it was the same at other bases, perhaps if you were at Darwin or Pearce or Willytown you can let us know, but at both Richmond and Amberley, apart from getting 2 fresh sheets every week—instead of the customary one,  the one thing that stood out was the great food.


Being on duty crew meant you spent the day with your squadron, as normal, but at 4.15pm off you went to the mess for ‘early tea’. Early tea was always better than normal dinner as everything was fresh, and of course, hadn’t been stewed over the hot water serving trays. It tasted heaps better, and blokes were always trying to crash the early tea but were nearly always stopped at the door. To get into early tea  you needed the magical “chit”. But there were always ways, and some blokes were expert at it, as it gave them time to get fed, back to the block and showered and be ready for when the boozer opened.


After early tea, it was off to the Duty Crew hut to start your shift which usually involved refuelling and tying down a bunch of aircraft from another RAAF base or some foreign aircraft, usually USAF. We never had to fix anything, as no-one would have known how.


About 8.00pm, someone was detailed off to go to the mess and get the rations, and back they’d come with half a doz loaves of bread, tubs of margarine, about 10 kg of tomatoes, a box of mushrooms, tons of eggs, more bacon than you could carry, etc—all to feed about 8 blokes for 24 hours. Bet they’ve cut that out………….





We heard from Les Bailey who is the President of the Victorian Division, Far East Strategic Reserve Navy Association. He says  “I am attempting to put a case to Veteran Affairs on behalf of the members of my association and request that you enquire of your members if any of them know of, heard of, heard of a rumour or any other reference to, however tenuous, a situation around May or June 1960 when HMAS Melbourne was considered to be in a serious situation in Djakarta, Indonesia.  I have been told that Australian aircraft based at Butterworth we put on "Red Alert" as Melbourne was considered to be in a situation of potential difficulty whilst alongside in Djakarta. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.”


If you were at Butterworth during that time and know anything, please let us know and we’ll pass it on.



40% of people that go to parties snoop into the host’s medicine cabinet.




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