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“Have a Good Weekend!”
21st to 25th APRIL 2023

1) WILLIAMTOWN.  Friday 21 April.

NSW 3SQN Association Members were privileged with an extra-entertaining ANZAC long-weekend!  It all started with the very successful ‘3SQN Family Day’ at Williamtown.  The weather miraculously cleared (much better than forecast) and all proceedings went well.  Congratulations to all 3SQN serving personnel for their efforts on the day.  

The aircraft and equipment displays, demonstrations and entertainment were top class.  

- They even managed to cater a tasty free sausage-sanga and drink for everyone in the bumper crowd!

2) SYDNEY - “3 Squadron and the Red Baron.”  Saturday 22 April.

On the 105th Anniversary of the military burial [by 3AFC!] of WW1’s top ace, the German Baron von RICHTHOFEN, James OGLETHORPE of 3SQN Association presented an illustrated talk on the Baron’s life and times at the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney.

3) “RICHMOND PILGRIMAGE.” Sunday 23 April.  

We were lucky to have another lovely day for our Annual Service at the 3SQN Memorial.
There were two outstanding highlights to the Service: 

- WGCDR KIELY spoke on the 20th Anniversary of OPERATION FALCONER.  (The RAAF’s contribution to the Allied Invasion of Iraq in 2003.)  There were many vital lessons learned by the RAAF regarding the operational shortcomings of their equipment at that time.  These experiences prompted much updating of the Hornets before they went to war again in 2014. 

[i.e. ‘OPERATION OKRA’.  - Kenny also commented that he had no idea as to why the RAAF named that particular operation after a vegetable!

- Another great moment was the presentation of the “Nigel Love Commemorative Clock” to the Squadron:


Nigel was a 3AFC WW1 pilot flying RE8s, experiencing many exciting adventures on the Western Front.  Our member John LOVE - Nigel’s son - read us Nigel’s account of one of his reconnaissance missions:

[11 April 1918.]  "We had made one or two successful runs in formation, when we were suddenly attacked by six enemy Albatros ScoutsThey came at us on our own level and opened fire, pretty early, at a fairly good distance away.  The dog fight was on! 

- After a lapse of time, I noticed that Rees's machine started a "spinning nosedive" towards the ground, disappearing into cloud at about 6,000 feet, with the enemy "Hun", diving vertically on his tail, pouring in tracer bullets. 

The scrap having concluded, I shut my engine off and spiralled down to the wreck on the ground.  Amazingly, the crew did survive, though with serious injuries.  On returning to base, examination of our RE8 machine revealed just how close our encounter really was.  Both wings had been shot through to the main spars and the rear of the Observer cockpit had received a burst of rounds."

Nigel’s grandson, Andrew LOVE, then took up the story:

My Grandfather, on returning from WW1 in June 1919, turned his life to pioneering Civil Aviation and opening Eastern States air-routes.  He personally selected Mascot Aerodrome (Sydney International Airport) that he owned for four years, and established Australia's first aircraft factory,"The Australian Aircraft & Engineering Co."  A.A.&E.Co. built six Avro 504Ks for the RAAF, with Australian-sourced materials.  The completed Avro 504Ks were wheeled onto the grassed Mascot airfield.  He also built the first Commercial Aircraft seating four passengers approved by the Commonwealth - the "B1". 

The NSW Air Training Corps held a Special Annual Review Parade on 10 November 1984, honouring
Wing Commander Nigel LOVE.  I shall read the last paragraphs of the Parade address:

"During his term as Commanding Officer, up until September 30, 1945, Nigel LOVE had been responsible for developing a literally non-existent organisation into an effective Corps, which contributed substantially to the war effort and eventually to victory for the Allied Forces in both theatres of war.  ln the same manner as the Royal Australian Air Force looks upon Air Marshal Sir Richard WILLIAMS as "the Father of the RAAF", the Air Training Corps looks upon WGCDR Nigel LOVE as "The Father of the ATC."

It gives me pleasure to present this Restored Mounted Clock for 3 Squadron's Williamtown Museum Collection.  The clock is an acknowledgement by the Air Training Corps, at the time of Wing Commander Nigel LOVE's retirement, of his past service to the Nation.

John LOVE further advises that the particular “nautical” style of the clock recalls Nigel’s use of small sailing boats on Sydney Harbour to train the ATC boys in concepts of vector navigation and wind effects.  John recalls that on one desperate day in 1942, the boats were suddenly commandeered by the Navy and Nigel had to go to great lengths to get them back for the Air Force!

[Click for Richmond Commemoration Official Photos.]


4) SYDNEY ANZAC MARCH.  Tuesday 25 April.

The big march in Sydney went well.  The sun was shining and glinting off the many campaign and service medals on display amongst the large 3SQN serving contingent.

The Fighter Squadrons’ LUNCH at the Pullman Hotel drew a large crowd. 
Focus for the speeches was the 20th Anniversary of RAAF combat over Iraq in 2003 – “OPERATION FALCONER”.

Former C.O.75, Mel HUPFELD and his WOE Macca” McDERMOTT both made fascinating addresses with lots of humorous asides.


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