(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.
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 '51 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. Everybody loves a war when its over.
Between ferrying VIP's the squadron also evacuates Korean war POW's back to Australia.
Dining in night, Iwakuni
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.