Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 35

Page 2

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Air Cdr Padre Bill Wheeler




We have been advised that, after a long battle with cancer, Principal Air Chaplain Bill Wheeler (Air Commodore Retd) passed away at his home in the afternoon of the 4th of March.


Bill served in Vietnam with 2 Squadron at Phan Rang from Oct 1970 to July 1971.


On retirement from the RAAF he and wife Margaret, actively provided ministry for the members of Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and the Associated Forces including the RAAF Vietnam veterans.



Graeme Oxley advised us that Maurie Hawkins passed away peacefully at 3pm on Saturday 23rd April at Greenslopes Hospital Brisbane. Maurie was an Electrical Instructor at Wagga and Graeme says he attended the 19 Appy (Snails) 40th anniversary at Wagga back in 2005 and he will be remembered for trying to get into every photo taken near the end of the night. His daughter, Louise, said that Maurie really struggled health wise in the last 2 years and particularly after the flood in January when they had 7 foot of water through his house. He had been in hospital twice this year with the second admission resulting in acute renal failure. After consultation with his Doctors on Thursday, it was decided that dialysis would be stopped and he would progressively get harder to rouse. We were told 3-5 days but he only lasted for 2 days - he was just too weak.


His funeral service was held on Friday 29th April at St Paul 's Anglican Church in Ipswich at 2pm.




Laurie Lindsay has told us that Tom Nolan passed away on the 27 April. Unfortunately, we do not have any further details.




Charles Walford, Wng Cdr (retired) passed away in the Canberra Hospital on the 24 April, after losing a long battle with cancer, he was only 65 years old. His funeral service was held on Tuesday 3 May at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Manuka, ACT.




John Sambrooks advises us that Sydney James Farmer passed away early on Sunday 27 March at St Vincent's Hospital, Bundaberg. His wife Judy said although she had lost her husband and soul mate, she has comfort in the knowledge that he fought to the last and together we gave it our best shot in an attempt win this battle. Syd was a sumpie and served in Vietnam with RTFV at Vung Tau from Feb 1965 to Oct 1965. His last wish was for his body to be donated to science, so to honour this wish, there was no funeral, instead, his body was taken to the Universit.


A Memorial Service was held in Bundaberg at the RSL on Monday 4th in order to celebrate and remember Syd with love and fun, and raise a glass (red of course) to a wonderful man.




Tony Hurl passed away early May and his funeral service was held at the Garden Island Chapel (Sydney) at 1400 Friday on the 6th May and afterwards at The Old Shamrock Hotel cnr Crown and Cathedral Streets. Unfortunately, we have no further details.




We received the following message from Bob Cuskelly. “I read in the Paper yesterday that Annette Couacaud passed away on 31st March. She was a TPRINOP who worked at Richmond during the 70s. I think she would have gone through RADSCL about 72-74 or thereabouts. Her brother Peter was also in the RAAF as I recall, although I'm not sure what he did or where he was. She was buried on the 5th April.”




Paul Hickerton advises that Geoff Farrell recently lost his fight with cancer. His funeral was held on the 5th April. Geoff joined the RAAF in Jan 1968 on 21 Academy course but found that academics wasn't his strongest suit and departed after first year for direct entry aircrew. He was posted to 9 Sqn as a Pilot Officer in April 1971 and stayed until December 1971 and after returning to Australia ended up as CO of 5 Sqn.




Ernie Gimm advises that Jack Campion passed away 30 March 2011. No further details are available.




We’ve been advised that Barry Bosanac had passed away on the operating theatre in Sydney. Unfortunately, no further information is available.




Dick Tracey advises that Geoff Auld (4th Intake MT) passed away on Saturday 30th April, having suffered a stroke.  Geoff lived at Wagga and was an active member of Aircare and their reunions.  No further details at this stage.




Jim Noble advises that the Canberra Times of the 21st May records that Dr Neville Hassen passed away at home on 19 May 2011. Nev joined 10 Radio Apprentice Course in 1956 and was later commissioned as an Eng Rad.


Unfortunately, we have no further details.




Bob Hambling advises us that KevinDoc” Johnson retired from the RAAF after his stint at Apprentice Sqn at Laverton (Bob was OIC there for part of his tenure) and bought a unit in Werribee where he lived for a few years near his daughter Amanda before he died. He was suffering diabetes and had mobility problems.   The last time that Bob saw him was around the mid 1980,s when they met for a counter lunch in Werribee and he died not long after that meeting.  Bob says "Doc was a real tower of strength in the job and many apprentices at the time would remember him with great affection, particular members of the Rugby team."


"He enlisted as a cadet at Point Cook and then became an appy on 4 course.   Following a severe rugby injury he was back-coursed to 5 course and while waiting some months for his new course he was employed for a while at medical section at Frognall and was dubbed Doc, a name which stuck for the rest of his career.  He graduated as a RADTECH A and spent his early years in Townsville working on Neptunes and playing rugby.  I seem to remember him telling a story about pulling the legs out from under Buster McLean on two successive lineouts before Buster worked out who the culprit was and Doc was then severely dealt with in the next lineout."


Noel Slattery says:-  I last saw Doc (everyone knew his as “Doc” – it is my guess that not even Doc knew his first name) the day he arrived at Laverton on his return from the UK in early 1972, still unable to walk, after a stuffed up operation performed at a Manchester hospital. He was an airie and a member of a small team I took to Manchester to assess two HS-748's for the RAN. He and I shared a unit and on a particular day quiet early in the program as I was preparing to leave on a trip south. Doc turned to sneeze and in the process stuffed his back quite seriously (although we didn't know it at the time). When I arrived back I found him in. hospital where he remained for the rest of the project. I knew him quite well and found him great company. He did, like most of us, like a drink. He was lucky to survive the episode in Manchester as he picked up a post-operative infection. When he was in the USA, he was knifed and almost died. I have thought of him many times and wondered how he was


Ray Morrison



Ernie Gimm advises that Ray Morrison (right) passed away on May 6th. His funeral was held on the 12 May in Springvale, Victoria. Ray was an instructor at Ballarat and in 1962, Ray and about 6 other telegs were posted to the new EDP section. Ray was the senior WOFF.


On discharge from the RAAF, Ray became a public servant in EDP.






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