(6th June 1924 - 25th March 1997)
September 1942 - Training
At 18 years old, joins the Royal Australia Air Force, and for 15 months, trains at Gunnery, Bombing, Air Observer, and Wireless Operator Schools.
Based at Gould NT, flys as an Air Gunner/Wireless operator on Beaufort light bombers. Patrols the Northern Coastline, attackes a Japanese submarine, strafs an enemy launch, escorts fighters, has emergency landings, narrowly avoids being shot down in strikes against Japanese airfields and survives a very nasty crash.
Learns to parachute jump, drops supplies, flys around New Guinea and the Dutch Timor area, drops more supplies, survives faulty engines, drops more supplies.
Post war, evacuates POW's from Japanese prison camps, medivacks injured to hospitals, ferries pig bristles from China, regularly couriers between Japan and Australia.
Marries Olive in June 1946.
Logs 2100 flying hours with 38 Squadron.
1948 - RAAF Station, Port Moresby
A desk job, nil flying hours.
1949 - RAAF Station, Darwin.
Another desk job, with a few flying hours in a Catalina PBY5.
The Malay Emergency, operation "Tropic Aid", fighter escorts, dropping supplies in Indo China, flying in and out of India, Malaya, Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. General support for the Korean War.
Squadrons 36, 37 and 38, were all part of No 86 Air Transport Wing.
240 hours of mostly domestic flights.
May 1954 - awarded a "Queens Commendation for Meritorious Service in the Air... flying in support of the Korean operations."
Signed by the Hon Athol Townley, MP: Minister for Air, Minister for Civil Aviation (to 24 October 1956).
Flys VIP around Australia and formally appointed to the Governor General's Flight in June 1951 where he flew the Governor General, the Prime Minister (RG Menzies), Federal Ministers, State GG's, military leaders etc. etc.
Granted a Queen's Commission on 28th February 1947.
Based in Japan, Tom's crew continues to ferry around VIP's involved in the post war reconstruction of Japan.
Between ferrying VIP's the squadron also evacuates Korean war POW's back to Australia.
Governor General's Flight 1951
GG Sir John Northcott (third from the left) and crew. Tom is third from the right.
On march 10th 1953, No 36 Transport Squadron was disbanded at Richmond, NSW, and reformed in Iwakuni, Japan.
For an interim two days, Tom was formally attached to No 30 Transport Unit, before this was subsumed into 36 Squadron.
Dining in night, Iwakuni
Tom with the mustache.
January 1954 to April 1954 - Queen's Flight Squadron Abingdon England.
Having experienced VIP operations with 36 Squadron, Tom was now posted to England, to RAF 24 Squadron for VIP movements, in which capacity he crewed VIP's and members of the Royal family, including HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
April 1954 to December 1956
24(Commonwealth) Squadron Abingdon England.
The Queen's flight. Flew the Royal Family around, for the Queen's 1954 Royal Visit to Australia.
Then, back to England to resume duties with 24 Sqdn.
March 1957 to December 1959
11 Squadron Richmond NSW
On returning to Australia, Tom was posted to 11 Squadron, back to operational flying, this time, on anti-submarine P2V-5 Lockheed Neptunes.
January 1960 to December 1962
The Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School (AJASS) Nowra, NSW.
Posted to the Navel Base "Albatross" at Nowra, NSW, to join the Joint Anti-Submarine school in conjunction with the Royal Australian Navy. His duties are not clear, but, to a large extent, he was involved in training.
January 1963 to November 1964
North Queensland Air Training Corps Squadron Townsville
The Air Training Corps (ATC) was a youth oriented organisation that was administered and actively supported by the RAAF. Tom was posted to the ATC as Regional Commandant to the North Queensland Squadron.
November 1964 to November 1966
10 Squadron, Townsville
Posted back to active duty on
P2V-7 Lockheed Neptunes at RAAF Garbut, Townsville.
January 1970 to October 1970
10 Squadron, Townsville
Final posting, back to active duty on Lockheed Neptunes at Garbut, Townsville.
Tom retired from the RAAF on the 6th October, 1970.
March 1967 to December 1969
NSW University Squadron Sydney
Tom was appointed Commandant of the NSW University Squadron. Similiar to the concept of the Air Training Corps, the NSWUS were formed to provide officer training to undergraduates who would then serve as commissioned officers in the RAAF General Reserve.
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Photos and Photo albums
RAAF Log Books