John Duigan won the Military Cross on operations with 3 Squadron AFC, but even before World War One broke out, he had claimed fame as an aviation pioneer back in Australia.
Nigel Love was a WWI pilot with 3 Squadron AFC in France, and became a noted 1920s aviation pioneer in Australia. This engrossing tribute by his son John includes many interesting details and a watercolour painting by Arthur Streeton.
- We're also sad to record the death of Nigel's oldest son Jeff, a great contributor to documenting 3AFC's history, who also served as a Mosquito Navigator in WW2.
Vin Smith "Meritorious Service Medal" - The only 3AFC Casualty whose war-grave can be visited in Australia.
Jack Ohlmeyer - 3SQN's very first casualty of WW2, was nearly forgotten by posterity. However, dedicated individuals have worked over the decades to revive his memory.
Gordon Steege - a 'Gladiator Ace' from the early WW2 battles in the Egyptian Western Desert in 1940/41.
Jim Jelley - an airframe fitter who completed three tour of duty in combat zones and was awarded the British Empire Medal.
Mick O'Mullane - his wartime experience as an Aircraft Mechanic with the 3SQN "Originals" set his course for a lifetime career.
Alan Boyd - Another dashing Gladiator ace, claiming several victories in biplane combat against the Italians in 1940.
Eric Baker was a Radio Operator and one of the Squadron's last surviving 1940 'Originals'. After returning from War he made a wonderful contribution to the Melbourne community.
Marcus "Mac" Macinnes, 3 Squadron's Equipment Officer in the early WW2 battles in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
One of 3SQN's great characters, Dick Hickson served with the Squadron during the Desert War days and was President of the Association between 1986 and 1988. Dick's life is such an interesting study of fine achievements and personable contributions to Australia's progress that we print the Eulogy delivered at Dick's funeral by his daughter, Jill Hickson [wife of former NSW Premier Neville Wran]. Included are some of Dick's WWII pictures.
Val St. Leon. An Engine-Fitter with 3 Squadron in Palestine and North Africa. Val brushed-off the desert dust and rose to a stellar post-war career as a pilot with Qantas.
Robert Glassborow was another 'Original' whose calling was Wireless Telegraphy Operator. He lived to the age of 100.
Jack Hamilton - an Engine Fitter in the Early days in the Desert.
Charlie Caddy - Another of the big contingent of Radio Operators who set out from Australia with 3 Squadron.
Ivor Leaver. Tom Russell's wonderful tribute to Ivor, one of the "Original" WW2 members who shipped out of Australia in 1940.
Ivor was one of the "Bofor Boys" of the Aerodrome Defence Unit.
Jack Faunt made sterling progress during his time in the Middle East with 3 Squadron as an Aircraft Hand, and then had some VERY interesting experiences once he returned to the Pacific theatre.
Bob Gray, General Hand from 1941 to '43, who left us some great stories
Leo Freeleagus - Popular Mess Steward and batman to some of the Squadron's most famous Commanding Officers.
Keith Austin was a Mechanical Engineer who specialised in aero-engines during WW2, serving with No.3 and several other RAAF squadrons in the Middle East.
In his later career he made a major contribution to building Australia's infrastructure.
Ken McRae MBE - 3 Squadron's esteemed Engineering Officer from The Battle of Gazala (1942) through to the end of the war in Italy (1945).
Alan Righetti was a Kittyhawk pilot who fought right across North Africa from Alamein before being shot down by one of Germany's greatest air aces.
Fortunately, Alan survived as a Prisoner of War. - But his adventures had only just begun!
Tom Russell - The last Kittyhawk pilot surviving from the Alamein days, lifelong volunteer-worker for 3SQN Association, Hon. NSW President.
Ted Savage, Armourer on Tomahawk and Kittyhawk aircraft in Syria, Africa and Italy.
Murray Knox and Arthur Collier were both Kittyhawk pilots with 3SQN in Tunisia, Malta, Sicily and Italy.
Both of their tributes include interesting illustrations and Arthur's has an exciting story of when he evaded capture in Italy.
Robert Sydney "Bobby" Jones. Pilot in Africa in 1942, POW in Italy; successfully escaped to Switzerland.
Doc McLeod was a Kittyhawk pilot whose bizarre fate after being shot down in 1943 has only recently been unravelled.
In late 2010, Brian Eaton's medals were sold for more that $70,000. This extract from the auction catalogue records Brian's outstanding flying achievements, including two stints as Commanding Officer of No.3 Squadron.
Grizz Bear. Engine Fitter 1942-1945. A popular character on the Squadron. His suggestion to put the "Southern Cross" on the Mustang rudders created a 3SQN tradition that endures today.
Geoff Chinchen. Shot down by ground-fire while leading a 3SQN Flight on a ground-attack mission over Libya in mid-1942,
Geoff later received an MBE for his daring POW escape into Switzerland.
This tribute to Geoff, who was elected as a Queensland MLA 1963-1977, was delivered by Premier Beattie in the chamber of Parliament House, Brisbane.
Flight Sergeant Allen Wand - Airframe Fitter, served with 3 Squadron in WW2: "All the way from Alamein to the Alps."
Bobby Gibbes. No.3 Squadron's most famous Commanding Officer, over two arduous tours in Syria and North Africa.
His amazing achievements attracted press coverage right around the world.
Peter Cuthbert was the Association's Honorary President when he died aged 91 on 1 June 2010. Peter gave many, many years of dedicated service to the 3 Squadron Association 'family'.
Our tribute recalls Peter's WW2 service as a Flight Sergeant Wireless Mechanic during the Squadron's hard slog from Libya, through Tunisia, to Malta, Sicily, and all the way up the Italian Peninsula to the final Victory in Europe.
Jack Doyle , who flew with 3 Squadron in Africa and Italy, rising to the position of Flight Leader and Acting CO,
He was later Commanding Officer of 450 "Desert Harassers" Squadron.
Coll Callander. A Kittyhawk pilot who flew in the big set-piece battles against the German defensive lines in Italy, 1944.
Bob Gillett. Engine Fitter in Malta, Sicily and Italy.
The desert memories of Instrument Fitter John O'Reilly.
Reg Stevens. Certainly the Squadron's fastest-promoted man, a skilled and much-admired Squadron Leader.
Bill Shoesmith. Sergeant, canteen truck driver and Desert Providore extraordinaire.
Bob Davies - One of the esteemed "Three Padres" in Africa and Italy. His great contribution to the morale
and spiritual life of 3 Squadron is celebrated in this tribute.
Cliff "Slim" Summerfield.
The long life of one of the dedicated 3 Squadron WWII ground-crew is described in this Western Australian newspaper article.
Murray Nash. Murray served three separate combat tours in 3 Squadron during World War II - starting in the Desert and then twice as Squadron Leader in Italy. Murray was the man who put the "Southern Cross" on the Squadron's rudders.
Chas Wannan, a popular Kittyhawk and Mustang Flight Leader.
Lew Ranger. A Mustang pilot over the last frantic months of operations in Northern Italy, Lew was an outstanding character and lifelong contributor to 3 Squadron Association. This tribute is by Arthur Pardey.
Alan Clark, a Mustang pilot who had an adventurous time with the Partisans after being shot down over Yugoslavia near the end of the WW2.
Mick "Blue" Glennan - Engine Fitter ...and enthusiastic, unpaid, life-coach to sprog pilots...
The last-surviving 3SQN WW2 veteran in South Australia was Jim Degenhardt, a late-war Mustang Armourer.
MATES ... Lew Ranger's Eulogy to Bluey White
Jock McAuley was the 'baby' of 3 Squadron WW2 pilots. He flew his Mustang in the closing months of the War in Italy.
'Dusty' Lane - Spitfire and Mustang Pilot who went on to a nationally-important airline career.
Johnny Taylor, a popular Mustang Flight Leader.
Stan Curran was an Engine Fitter and later Engineering Officer in the RAAF during WW2 and post-war. He had postings with 3SQN in Canberra (Mustangs) and Butterworth (Sabres).
Ron Susans, a decorated 3SQN Kittyhawk pilot in WW2, had a most interesting RAAF career post-war, retiring as an Air Vice Marshal.
The only 3SQN Commanding Officer lost in peacetime was the highly-decorated Mirage pilot Vance Drummond in 1967.
A tragic accident atop of the highest mountain in Malaysia in 1972 ended the promising flying career of Mirage Pilot Lloyd Smith.
'Gus' Winen - Mirage Airframe Fitter, Butterworth, and friend to all.
Ned Wark - 28 years of Engineering excellence in the dawn of the RAAF's jet age.
And finally a 'living tribute' to the man who led 3 Squadron into the Jet Age in 1956, AVM Fred Barnes.