Monday, 27 February 2012

The Soldier !

Ayres thrush
I  picked this up somewhere, its worth a read.

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier,not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the student activist,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag and whose coffin
is draped by the flag.

Who permits the protester to burn the flag.

"Until you can be of use  to your fellow man you have no human rights at all"


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Vietnam Forward Operations 1970.

skymaster 337


Forward Operations.

Mission Duty : Night.

I have just came out of a briefing for a night pick-up; it was for a strip about 30 minutes north, I had dropped a marine off  there last week.

I still have the GPS position logged in my system, But I'm sure "briefing" will have given me enough paper work in my flight folder to complete the duty. Which is a bit of a giggle really? as these pick-ups are done in complete darkness, so no reading gets done!
The instrument panel is just lit with a dull red glow, which I turn off. On a good dark night, its brighter outside, and that's the way I like it. I also find it better without the moon! as it shines in your face just like the sun effecting your vision.

I had spent many thousands of hours, flying low level over bush country spraying crops and pest, before I was recruited to Vietnam. (that's another story) The main difference here was that the strips could be a trap waiting? Cables strung across the runway, plus mines and troops.
It was dangerous but I believed necessary, plus the pay was good and I always enjoyed a good pay cheque.

The Plan was:

Monday, 13 February 2012


You Know! being a young man growing up, can have serious drawbacks, like most other guys of my age I never listened to what adults said to me.
So the night my Uncle Michael told me to shut up! or, as he put it! "Shut up or he would punch my lights out ", Well! I didn't ! and he did?.
So there I was! standing outside my mates house, in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt in the rain, Feeling stupid.  My pride wouldn't allow me to return home, double stupid!
It was far to late to risk tapping on the window , just in case I awoke his Mum and Dad, I wasn't ready to face them.
So I sneaked around the back to their garden shed, as I approached the shed the dog gave a cautionary growl, I called to him "Don" he went quite as he knew me well, we often hunted in the bush together with my mates.
Don had no concerns regarding my sleeping on his blanket, as for me? Outside in the rain? or inside with Ron?. No Contest!  I settled down for a nights kip with Don.
It wasn't that bad really; I think I got some sleep! well up until, Don's resident "friends" decided to move in with me, in the morning I was covered in flea bites! and just a wee tad smelly.
I thought I would wait until Johns Mum and Dad left for work, and I would go in and give John the story and get to use the shower. Johns older brothers  BMW motor bike, was not outside the back door? meaning he was at work and due home! and I really didn''t want to face the music with our Fred! I just hoped to get in before he turned up.
I noticed the traffic on the local road was getting busy, I thought that strange, then it dawned on me it was Saturday!
I was in a bit of a pickle now, what to do?

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Red Baron April 21st 1918

The Red Baron
Northern France.
Over the Front Lines.
Aircraft: Fokker DR1 425/17 Triplane

April 21st.1918.

On this day. Manfred Albrecht Freiherr Richthofen
" The Red Baron"  Died.
He was shot down as he flew low over the front lines! Whilst being chased by a British Aircraft, passing by the Australian positions! the Aussies opened fire
on him, and claimed to have shot him down? He and his Aircraft ended up in No-mans Land! between the fronts.
He was in his 26th year.
Over the years I have read many accounts of this incident, but the version I read in the UK Daily Mail on the Thursday. January 5th 2012. is for me ? the closest to what really happened!
Except for the part! Which I think is a bit fanciful? Where they say he landed the aircraft after being mortally wounded? The Fokker Triplane was a notoriously unstable aircraft, Its instability and powerful engine, was its great advantage over the British Aircraft. But it was difficult to control? The Baron was reported as saying "It Climbed like a Monkey! and flew like the devil"

So I believe? Either the Baron landed the aircraft and was immediately shot and killed or he was killed making a forced landing! leaving it to the aircraft to finish the crash landing?
Who Knows?

The Red Baron Von Richthofen was an Ace among Pilots.

Bill Farnsworth an Australian Stretcher bearer on the front line, was at this time sitting in the latrine
and the whole incident unfolded before him.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It was a big bird.

Mid 1967.
Aircraft DHC2 Beaver.
Approach to land.
Cambridge Airfield.

I was due north of the field, about 10 minutes out from joining the circuit at Cambridge airfield.
In good clear weather. At 1000 feet circuit height, with a radio clearance, to approach and join, for landing, from Air Traffic, Hobart.

Cruising at 120 knts. I was Reducing power to get my airspeed back to 100knts, the approach speed.
Whilst all this happening, I'm drinking a hot cup of coffee and thinking and looking forward ,to my night out.
My mate Tony is flying in from Melbourne, for the week-end , and we are meeting a couple of Tassie ladies at the Air Force club for a meal and drinks. Could be a good night!

I looked up and I saw a couple of large predator type birds, soaring along-side of the hill, on my starboard side.
So there I am? Sipping hot coffee and controlling the aircraft direction with my knees and feet.
One of the birds seem to be showing an interest in me and began to turn in my direction, so I applied a bit of rudder, moving me away from it. Keeping the bird in my field of vision.