21 Dec 23. Pieter Brook-Rerecich
Instrument Fitter 75,76,77, 2OCU and 481Squadrons
How Daphne De Dual naming came about
In early 1980 after A3-116 had been causing delays in pilot instrumentation refresher training due to regular unserviceability and despite Sgt Dave Bromfield’s morning talks to the A/C to play nice
A3-102 was transferred to 77Sqn from 2OCU to enable 77Sqn pilots to maintain their instrumentation rating. For a short period of time 77Sqn had two duals until A3-116 had a major service and went to 2OCU.
A3-102 was to remain with 77 Sqn up until her retirement, with some movement to 2OCU to assist with pilot training when 2OCU had A/C availability issues.
The idea of giving dual Mirages a name at 77 Sqn came about during my time in MCS (Maintenance control Section) following an injury, over the usual banter about which A/C were behaving and which were not. This was around September 1981.
Merrin de Coe, who was the Clerk Admin for the section, was a great drawer and she and I (Pieter Brook-Rerecich) did some doodling as to what would look alright on an aircraft. It was at this point that I went to the Instrument Section smoko room and grabbed one of the Penthouse pictures from the wall and Merrin drew a silhouette of the picture and then we discussed names.
We came up with Daphne which was an old French name (and by chance my Grandmothers name which I found out years later), it also means “nymph” in Greek which is appropriate for this lady, the later addition of the “de” was also French and picked up on the de part of Merrins name (de Coe).
Merrin did the drawing, and I did the original stencil which only had Daphne on it.
As I was about to go out to paint the A/C the CO came to the section and after a brief discussion (What you doing Brook-R , OK by me) he “authorised “ the painting of the A/C
As the only spray paint can in the section was yellow the original was in yellow with the silhouette and Daphne
Daphne A3-102 original scheme
The first time that the rest of the RAAF saw the painting/ naming of Daphne was in the 1981 Christmas cards from 77Sqn Instrument Section and the Squadron Christmas card.
Daphne proceeded to Rockhampton on a detachment/exercise around September 1982 in the same set up.
As an aside Merrin was interested in remustering to an A/C trade and so with approval of the CO she undertook OJT on the Mirage before going to Wagga for training as (I think) a Sumpie (Engine Fitter)
When Daphne was returning from a D Servicing at 481Sqn to 77Sqn flightline Dave Roeth and Dave Shotton applied the modified stencil “Daphne de Dual” to the A/C (1982)
Latter painting of Daphne was done “professionally “by the A/C painters.
Over the period 1981 to 1988 the naming of dual A/C occurred on two other occasions when both A/C were at 77Sqn. A3-116 Derrick (name not painted on A/C) and Daisy A3-101
The painting of the name only occurred on the ladder side of the A/C. Daphne was painted on both sides on one occasion and lasted for approximately a week before being rectified (Fighter World has painted Daphne on both sides from a photo take in this period)
The Daphne name has continued on a RAAF dual fighter A/C up until the introduction of the F-35. She was on F18 number A21-102 and then A21-106.