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JDK, Is 2IC Richard Knight the one with his arm on the 105mm howitzer? Photo section staring at page 138.
Sorry, I can't find that page on line - I'll have to refer to the hard copy I think I have at home. He was originally an artilleryman, so he was equally happy resting on gun barrels or aircraft.
Yep, that's dad clowning around at the right rear - fingers in ears as one did in the good old days before hearing protection!
I don't know, but he may have taken ownership of that gun, being an artillery guy - After Viet Nam he got out of aviation and went back to gunnery.
Here he is on the left, on Anzac Day last year. It's his 82nd birthday today!
Arty = one of the fastest ways to deafness!
After decades of him saying to us "What?" "Say again?" "Did you say something?" "Can you turn it up?" "Shut up, I can't hear the news!"
He's going great apart from the hearing.
Thanks for the scan. I've saved it to my work pc now!
Those were the days.
I don't think the full story is in Possums & Bird Dogs, but when dad was there at Nui Dat some of the mechanics were restoring an Auster in their spare time (not much I can guess!). It had been officially written off after a crash.
Dad said that it was almost finished but they needed a tail wheel - you know, those caster mounted ones.
Anyway, straight out of an episode of MASH they cooked it up -
Some Brigadier flew into Nui Dat to visit for a few hours - in exactly the same model Auster.
Dad's mechanics said they would give his aircraft a refuel and once-over while the pilot was having lunch and the Brigadier was in his meeting.
The head mechanic quickly let the pilot know that his tail wheel was damaged. "Did you feel it shimmying? It's rooted mate! We can get you a new one from Vung Tau on the next flight - It will be here by the time your lunch is ready! Is that OK?"
The pilot was tickled pink "Go for it! What brilliant service. Thanks so much, off you go! I'll sign for the new wheel when it arrives."
An hour or two later, the new wheel arrived. They notified the pilot in the mess that the wheel arrived and they would install it for him.
The new wheel was taken straight out the back and fitted to the renovation project Auster.
The guys then got some tyre black and polish and gave the Brigadiers Auster tail wheel a five minute buff up.
Everybody is happy, and none the wiser!
It must have been quite a time in his life, for sure.
Possums and Bird Dogs: Australian Army Aviation's 161 Reconnaissance Flight in South Vietnam · ' ...
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