3 Squadron LIFETIMES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search

Alan Frederick "Dusty" LANE. 

July 16, 1923 - July 30, 2016.

Sadly, we suddenly lost “Dusty” after a fall at his nursing home in Melbourne.  Dusty had celebrated his 93rd birthday on July 16.  One week earlier, on July 9, he had featured at the “Centennial” 3 Squadron Reunion at Point Cook.  He was "in fine form" - still fitting into his 1945 RAAF officer's cap and tunic!

In 1941, having falsified his age, Dusty had reported for duty with the RAAF on his 18th birthday.  He was therefore the youngest possible of the trainees in his draft to Rhodesia.  He excelled during training, being one of only a few trainees to be sent directly to the Middle East (instead of England) for O.T.U. training. 

As part of the Desert Air Force, Dusty flew Spitfires with 451 Squadron RAAF and 111 SQN RAF (under the command of Duncan Smith, author of “Spitfire at War”) and finally Mustangs with 3SQN RAAF in Italy.  Dusty operated in the Middle East, Sicily, France and Italy.  (Including action over the Anzio beach-head, and "Operation Bowler" over Venice Harbour.)  In aerial combat, Dusty was credited with two victories and one shared, as well as one damaged. 

In 1946, Dusty joined Australian National Airways ("A.N.A." - later Ansett), firstly as a co-pilot, rising to Director of Operations in 1976 (retiring from this position in 1984, having accumulated 18,000 hours of commercial flying).  In 1988 he undertook a study into the Department of Aviation on behalf of the Federal Minister, and he served on the Australian Aviation Advisory Committee from 1990-1995.

Dusty was also involved in the preservation and restoration of several WWII aircraft, including a Wirraway, two Mustangs, and the Mosquito which is now housed at Point Cook.

He was predeceased by his wife, Mavis, whom he devotedly cared for throughout her prolonged illness.  He is survived by his children John, Greg and Susan, and several grandchildren.  (Dusty proudly attended the wedding of one grand-daughter quite recently.)

Vale Dusty - a wonderfully modest "high achiever" and true gentleman. 

[Thanks to Martin Jackson, Rhodesian Air Training Group, for supplying information for this Obit.]

3 Squadron LIFETIMES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search