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Podcast List

WW2 Sister Joan LOUTIT, 2nd M.A.E.T.U. (Medical Air Evacuation Unit) R.A.A.F.


Sister Joan LOUTIT, 2nd M.A.E.T.U. (Medical Air Evacuation Unit) R.A.A.F.

Sadly Mrs Joan Patterson formerly Sister Joan LOUTIT passed away on  Sept 11th 2018

A note from Joan: Friends were talking about V. J. Day and what we were doing when the Japanese surrendered in World War II. Some were at school, some went to a ball - I said I was in the Pacific Islands, nursing and flying battle-casualties back to Australia! Someone said that would make an interesting talk...

So Joan gave some talks part of which are read for you in this Podcast.



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F-35A Lightning II Wing Commander Darren Clare


For personnel at RAAF Base Williamtown a low-flying F-35A Lightning II is hardly a remarkable sight, but a low pass conducted on August 28 held great significance for Wing Commander Darren Clare.

It was his last flight before handing over command of No. 3 Squadron.

Having flown more than 350 hours in the F-35A, Wing Commander Clare was not only one of the first RAAF pilots selected to transition to the 5th Generation platform but was also selected as the commanding officer of the first Australian squadron to receive the aircraft – an honour he said was one of the most exciting moments in his career.

In this Podcast, Wing Commander Clare talks about his F35 flying experiences.


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Wing Commander (ret) Jim Treadwell AFC OAM, Meteors, Sabres, Mirages.


Wing Commander retired Jim Treadwell AFC  OAM,  a highly qualified and experienced Air Force pilot and leader.  He flew fighters for most of his life including Meteors, Sabres and Mirages.

Jim talks about highlights of his career while taking part in the first Sabre Ferry to Butterworth, Malaya,  flying on operations during the Malayan Emergency,  deploying to Ubon, Thailand as part of the air defence of Thailand during the Vietnam War and then also serving during Indonesian Confrontation. 

In 1977 he resigned from the Air Force to become a farmer.

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A Chance in a Million


23 January 1979!  A momentous day would bring complete strangers together in strange circumstances.  As with all many momentous events, there was no inkling as to how the day would unfold.  The people involved were Ron Mitchell, Pete Ring and Col Tomlinson.  

A statement from Pete:   Having returned from leave, I was scheduled for a Check Ride in a Huey.   Ron Mitchell, the QFI checking me out was very experienced, a bloody good pilot and a nice all-round bloke.  I was anticipating enjoying the check ride.

A statement from Col, an  A4 Skyhawk Pilot:    Next came the great opening shock of the chute. The ballistic spreader, now incorporated in the seat, threw the risers out instantaneously and I slowed from 260 KTS to zero in approximately half a second.

Col and Pete are being interviewed for the Podcast.  Below is some background for them.  You will hear more about Ron's role during the Podcast.

Col Tomlinson.   Col was a private pilot 1969 to 1974 and then joined the Fleet Air Arm, flying Macchi and A4G Skyhawks.  He became a Qualified Flying Instructor and Instrument Rating Examiner.   In 1979, he ejected from a Skyhawk and landed in rough country near Braidwood NSW.  Here he met Peter Ring.  In 1983, after the Fleet Air Arm disbanded its Fighters as a result of decommissioning its aircraft carrier, he joined the RAAF and trained on Mirage III however as his back was damaged during his ejection he discontinued and went on to flying Caribous. In 1986 he joined Qantas, flying Boeing 747 2/3/400 Series.  

Peter Ring  AM  AFC began his Air Force life as a fighter pilot, then Fighter Combat Instructor flying mainly F86 Sabres and Mirage III.  In the 1960’s he was deployed to Ubon, Thailand and Malaysian Confrontation.  Later, he was posted as Commanding Officer of 5 Sqn operating Huey’s for 4 years, including deployment to the United Nations Emergency Force in the Sinai Desert. Resigning in 1981 he became a sheep farmer. He branched out to provide privately funded Change Programs for Youth and Corporate Programs to Accelerate Business Performance.     The programs were conducted using an experiential approach developed by Peter that improved “feet on the ground” self leadership. Currently, Peter is Secretary of the Air Force Association NSW, a Board Member of Wings Magazine, and a Committee Member of Fighter Squadrons Branch, Air Force Association NSW.


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Doctor Ron Houghton, WW 2 Bomber Pilot


Dr Ron Houghton, 96 yrs young relates his WWII experience as a Bomber Command Pilot and later in commercial aviation.  Ron joined the RAAF Reserve in May 1942 and after training in Australia, was posted to an Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) in the UK.  Ron flew Halifax bombers with No.102 Squadron RAF, and fondly remembers a particular petrol run he undertook from Yorkshire to Brussels after Brussels was liberated.  His squadron was tasked with delivering some eighty jerry cans of petrol to the fuel starved British army in Belgium.  On completion of Bomber Command operations, Ron was posted to Fighter Command and flew Spitfires/Hurricanes.  Ron continued flying until the end of the war, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in May 1945 for 'skill and fortitude in operations against the enemy'.  Upon discharge in November 1945, Ron joined Qantas, eventually working his way up to executive level.  After leaving Qantas, Ron worked with several Asian airlines.  He then completed a PhD in aeronautical engineering at Sydney University, eventually becoming an Honorary Associate.  Ron currently serves as President of the Bomber Command Association of Australia.  Ron recalls the mateship that formed in crews and he has kept in touch with his Bomber Command crew throughout the years.

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