The first all-Australian crew in Bomber Command

The first all-Australian crew in Bomber Command to complete a tour of operations, with No 466 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, stand in front of their Vickers Wellington bomber at RAF Leconfield, Yorkshire, in 1943.

Pictured here (left to right) are Flight Sergeant James Patrick Hetherington (409049, bomb aimer), Pilot Officer Aubrey Churchill Winston (402605, rear gunner), Pilot Officer Jack Harben Cameron (411284; captain), Flight Sergeant Jack Samuels (412845; W/O – air gunner), and Pilot Officer James Jeffrey Allen (411723, navigator).

James Allen, who had been posted to 466 Squadron on 23 March 1943, and Jack Cameron, who had only arrived at 466 RAAF 24 hours earlier, were among 12 Australian servicemen awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in November 1943. Both men’s citations explain that the honour was awarded due to their ‘skill & fortitude in operations against the enemy’.

Both Aubrey Winston and Jack Samuels would also receive DFCs later in the war for their service, Winston for his ‘enthusiasm & courage on two operational tours’.

Flight Sergeant Jack Samuels, originally from Dubbo in regional New South Wales, received his DFC in 1945 for his ‘courage & devotion to duty on numerous operations’.

In November 1945, almost six months after the cessation of hostilities in Europe, Samuels was one of a group of 31 veteran Australian airmen from 643 Squadron (flying Lancaster bombers) who visited Berlin ‘to inspect the damage their bombs had caused’ in the final stages of the conflict. To his colleagues, he was known as ‘Ruhr-basher’ Samuels.

Sitting in the officers’ mess of what had become RAF Gatow in Berlin, where once Luftwaffe officers would dine, the group of Australians were being served champagne by young German women as Samuels took in the comfortable surroundings. ‘Maybe we joined the wrong air force’, he mused to the group, before taking a sip of the champagne – and shuddering. ‘No – maybe we didn’t!’

Four of the five depicted here survived the war. James Allen however died of injuries on 15 June 1945, two days after Dakota KN468 of 96 Squadron RAF crashed while on a daytime transport flight. A fire broke out and the port engine ceased to function, causing the aircraft to crash east of Dinawa railways station near Patna, in India. All but one of the seven crew and passengers on board were killed.

Royal Air Force official photographer

Image courtesy of the Imperial War Museum London


A range of commemorative and educational resources will help young Australians understand the history and significance of one of the most important days on the nation’s calendar, ahead of next month’s Remembrance Day commemorations.

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of guns falling silent on the Western Front in the First World War: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Our nation stands in silent reflection for one minute each year to commemorate and honour those Australians who have died or suffered in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

To assist schools, ex-service organisations and community groups plan for 11 November, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has prepared a Remembrance Day educational resources pack or ‘digital kitbag’ to highlight the importance of honouring Australia’s veterans and servicemen and women.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the Remembrance Day pack includes a range of commemorative and educational resources about Australia’s military history.

“The Australian Government is committed to recognising the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation. It is crucial to foster this tradition of recognition in order to teach our children the importance of Remembrance Day and honouring the service and sacrifice of all our veterans in a respectful and dignified manner,” Minister Gee said.

“Some of the education products in the 2021 Remembrance Day pack focuses on the experiences of Australians who were prisoners of war. A range of online and hardcopy resources, as well as posters, a calendar and a book are included in the pack. The book, Endurance: Stories of Australians in wartime captivity, is the 11th volume in the Century of Service series, and tells the stories of our men and women who became prisoners of war while serving in the armed forces.

“In addition, an online lesson has been developed to allow students to hear directly from veterans in a unique experience designed to develop an interactive learning environment.

“The digital pack contains all the resources required to conduct a commemorative service including an Order of Service, sample speeches, music and the Ode of Remembrance, which can be downloaded by families and community groups in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

“Schools will begin to receive the educational pack in coming weeks. In addition, a range of new digital resources can also be accessed now on the Anzac Portal.

“In the lead up to Remembrance Day, I encourage all Australian schools to use these resources to expand the knowledge of our future generations and ensure we continue the important tradition of honouring all those who’ve served our country.”

Aspen Medical Pty Ltd

Great opportunity: Aspen Medical, asked SEEK Employment however they want to see if there is anyone in the EX ADF Veteran Community that might be interested or you may have a family member how would be interested.

Aspen Medical Operations

We are currently recruiting Quarantine Service Officers to provide essential support to our healthcare services within quarantine facilities and contribute to the national COVID-19 Outbreak Response.

This is an opportunity to support the efforts of health authorities with their response to COVID-19 in quarantine services and assist with operations, logistics and health support in Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas.

Aspen Medical Pty Ltd is a proud supporter of the Veterans Employment Commitment and as such, Defence Force experience is greatly valued and highly desirable.


Locations: Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas

Available positions: Quarantine Service Officers (Multiple Positions)

Status: Full-time and part-time – Fixed-Term (6 – 12 months)

We are looking for people who are organised, those who enjoy working in fast-paced environments, are practical problem solvers, possess excellent communication skills, and demonstrate a client focussed approach to tasks that is responsive, flexible and committed to delivering quality services.

A high-quality training will be provided to the successful applicants along with an opportunity to continue to serve others in the Australian community.

The roles and responsibilities of this role include:

  • providing general support to the team including but not limited to:
    1. assisting the Quarantine Services Team to help set up and pack up quarantine facilities
    2. supporting the COVID-19 screening process by undertaking temperature screening at accommodation admission and departure points, as well as conducting identification checks to ensure only authorised personnel enter the facility
    3. assisting the team with maintaining a clean, tidy and safe workspace within the quarantine operations area
    4. assisting in unpacking and handling luggage items
    5. maintaining good information flow relating to operational matters
    6. working collaboratively with other team members, authorised officers, medical staff, and relevant stakeholders to ensure quarantine protocols are adhered to
    7. attending to resident’s enquiries and liaising with relevant team members to take necessary action
    8. assisting residents on essential requirements whilst in quarantine facilities i.e. food, mail, and package deliveries
    9. preparing relevant forms and reports as required.
  • Assisting in ensuring infection prevention control protocols are followed in the facilities by:
    1. supporting the COVID-19 screening process by undertaking temperature screening at accommodation admission and departure points, as well as conducting identification checks to ensure only authorised personnel enter the facility
    2. monitoring hallways, donning, and doffing station and reception areas ensuring that all residents and employees are wearing required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    3. maintaining an adequate stock level of PPE
    4. reporting incidents to relevant stakeholders
    5. reporting issues to your line manager or team leader for resolution as required and undertake other relevant duties to support site operations
    6. mitigating risk within a fast-paced and dynamic environment to ensure client safety is maintained, operational instructions are adhered to, and resident satisfaction is maintained.

Qualifications and documentation required:

  • a current CV with details of two referees.

To apply, please send us the above required documentation to [email protected]

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have.



written by Adam Thorn | October 12, 2021

The US State Department has greenlit the federal government’s request to purchase an additional 12 MH-60R Multi-Mission (Seahawk) helicopters for $1.3 billion.

The deal with Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky takes the total fleet size to 24 and includes the provision of spare engines, radars, targeting systems and rocket and missile launchers.

US contractors are also expected to provide engineering, training and logistics support services.

Australia’s MH-60Rs, which first entered service in 2013, provide submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare capability.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a statement.

“Australia is one of our most important allies in the western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

“It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.”

The Seahawk is equipped with a sophisticated combat systems designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo.

Some reports have suggested the fleet has expanded in response to technical issues associated with the Airbus-built MH-90 Taipan helicopters, deployed by both Navy and Army.

In June, Defence suspended flying operations of its 47 Taipan aircraft, flown by 808 Squadron.

The fleet was grounded as a “safety precaution” after Defence identified an issue relating to the “application of the helicopter’s maintenance policy” in the aircraft’s IT support system.

This was the latest in a series of technical incidents associated with the Taipan’s operation.

In 2019, a tail rotor vibration forced the MRH-90 helicopters based at HMAS Albatross to be grounded.

This followed a precautionary landing on HMAS Adelaide from an Army MRH-90 a fortnight earlier, prompting officials to temporary suspend the entire fleet.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) again listed the MRH program (AIR 9000 Phase 2, 4 and 6) as a “project of concern” in its 2019-20 Defence Major Projects report.

The ANAO stated there remains an “ongoing inability” to meet materiel capability delivery milestones and performance criteria relating to the Taipan’s gun mount, aero-medical evacuation equipment and the Common Mission Management System.

In December, the joint committee of public accounts and audit called on Defence to commission a performance review or independent external audit of the entire helicopter acquisition program in lieu of concerns raised by the ANAO.

This followed the establishment of Project SEA 9100 Phase 1 Improved Embarked Logistics Support Helicopter Capability in response to the 2020 Force Structure Plan, which outlined the need to expand and rationalise the support and logistics helicopter fleet operated by Navy, in anticipation of an increase in future naval operations.

“With the Navy’s amphibious and afloat support fleet increasing in number and capability, a commensurate growth in the number of aircraft used by Navy in the support helicopter role is required,” a Defence spokesperson said.


Boeing’s MQ-25 Stingray T1 unmanned refuelling aircraft developed for the U.S. Navy successfully transferred jet fuel to a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet for the first time on Friday, demonstrating the drone’s ability to handle a mission previously conducted by manned aerial refuelling aircraft, including other F/A-18s outfitted for tanking purposes.





I know the chap who for many years owned the Wycliffe Wells Roadhouse we were in the Navy and we did business together for many years while he had the roadhouse (built originally as a stopover camp for the American army conveys taking equipment to arm Darwin in the WWII.

They dug the well for crops to be grown for the troops coming through, (hence the swimming pool, still in use there)

The owner was desperate for traffic to stop and spend some money at his roadhouse. Being the entrepreneur that he was he hit onto purchasing the space ship and space-related items for sale after the World Exposition held in Brisbane, in 1988 and proceeded to get as much publicity as he could via media etc. no mean feat pre-internet, however, then comes the arrival of the back-packer era he was home free, organising the coaches to stop over, and there was the attraction of the nearby “Devils Marbles” which of course attracted UFOs … “Oh! no UFOs tonight! you should have been here last night”.

But hey, when you are in the middle of Australia and the night sky is so special for people from overseas. what the heck.

The UFOs were the first of many activities he produced at the Wells and they were all to enhance the business which they certainly did, good for him, a true raconteur.

South Pacific defence ministers reaffirm enhanced regional security response


Defence Connect

By: Nastasha Tupas

The annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM) brought together defence ministers from Australia, Chile, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga virtually to reaffirm their commitment to work together in response to shared security threats.

Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton chaired the important forum during a time of significant change to the regional security landscape.

“The SPDMM provides a platform to drive more effective regional co-operation with partners that share our interest in a peaceful and secure Pacific,” Minister Dutton said.

“The challenge of COVID-19 has underscored that we are stronger and more resilient when we respond to common challenges together.”

“We shared lessons learned from our experience with pandemic management and discussed how to navigate defence co-operation in the new normal.”

A number of substantive outcomes were agreed.

Australia supported the Pacific-led initiative to develop a Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Response Framework to refine the way countries within the south Pacific work together when disaster strikes.

“We are increasingly standing by each other at times of need and a more structured capability will enable this,” Minister Dutton said.

“An information-sharing arrangement was also agreed to, which will make it easier to exchange information of various forms.

“The POVAI ENDEAVOUR Framework will also be refreshed, which we exercise together and enhance our interoperability.”


Repatriation Medical Authority – Advice of new investigations

Please find attached correspondence advising you of 4 new notices which appeared in the Government Notices Gazette of 12 October 2021. The notices of investigation are also attached.







Frank White

Deputy Registrar

Repatriation Medical Authority


Can you help Stephen


Would you post this please?

I’m chasing some Vietnam era sweat rags for a display, they are getting hard to find.

If anybody has some I’m willing to pay. I can be contacted via email. Thanks in advance.

-Stephen Johnston ( [email protected] )

Poseidon In Ground Refueling

A RAAF P-8A Poseidon has for the first time refuelled using a new ‘in-ground’ system at RAAF Base Edinburgh rather than rely on traditional trucks.

The new process is 30 per cent quicker because it removes the need for a pause to swap in new vehicles.

Flight Sergeant Daniel Poynter said a faster refuel was essential because the Poseidon is regularly called out on short notice search and rescue missions.

“The system allows for up to three simultaneous refuels to be conducted with almost zero impact on the fuel flow rate,” he said.

“With the increased speed of refuelling and the reduced downtime waiting for tanker changeovers, the reduction in time wasted allows aircraft maintenance personnel to be more efficient.”

The new system utilises a hydrant line that is plumbed from the Edinburgh Base Fuel Farm to a hydrant point at the No. 92 Wing apron at the base.

When an aircraft now needs fuel, it is connected to a No. 24 Squadron tanker hydrant cart, which connects to the hydrant point, rather than relying on trucks.

As the in-ground refuelling hydrant points are installed along various parking positions on the No. 92 Wing main apron, they are now the primary source of refuelling for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

From Australian Aviation