3 Intake JEATS 1954

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The 8th Intake of RAAF Engineering Apprentices arrived at the RAAF School of Technical Training at Wagga Wagga NSW in January 1954. The training period was three years - 1954 - 1956. The average age was about sixteen years. The scheme started in 1948, with each intake being given a name by the previous intake, hence Anzacs, Rainbows, Sunbeams, Daisies, Pansies, Daffodils for the first seven groups. These names and their descriptions became progressively more derogatory and hence the 8th was dubbed "Mangoes",viz "Green on the outside, yellow on the inside and gives everybody the sh..s!" There were approximately 110 recruits from all over Australia, and the living conditions were quite harsh, in retrospect. Sixteen people in a dormitory style, uninsulated WW2 hut, with one power point, was spartan. The total number of apprentices including the second and third years exceeded 300 and there was only one small clothes washing hut with tubs. Most had never washed, starched or ironed their own clothes before and the whole experience was quite a shock. The first year was spent in Basic Training - physical boot camp and basic trade training such as fitting, machine shop, welding, carpentery,blacksmithing, plumbing etc. In second year, the apprentices were allocated to their particular musterings viz Engine,Airframe, Armament,Electrical,Instrument or Transport Fitters.

We marched and marched

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We finished our Apprenticeships

but the Friendships remain forever

RAAF Apprentices Association

ABN 26 298 109 561

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