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A Mango Story

Errol Alcock—A216432—Clerk Equipment

Introduction to the RAAF and RSTT I joined the RAAF at RSTT as a Junior Equipment and Administrative Trainee (JEAT) on 25 January 1954, undertaking both educational and service training followed by practical on the-job training at No 3 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Base Amberley. Following JEAT training I graduated in 1955 as an aircraftsman recruit minor (you cannot get much lower) and was later posted as an airman to serve at units located in Victoria, Northern Territory and New South Wales.

Post RSTT training and experiences I served for about nine years as an airman and NCO, and on an opportunity basis attended evening classes to obtain a leaving certificate. Concurrently, I completed service and trade promotion

examinations, being promoted to the rank of sergeant on 1 June 1961 at the age of No.3 JEAT course RSTT Wagga 1954


In 1962 I applied for and was accepted for training at Officers Training School. Point Cook in Victoria and graduated as a pilot officer with a permanent commission on 13 May 1963. After initial officers training I successfully completed a range of progressive specialist occupational and service training courses, being promoted to the ranks of flying officer in 1964, flight lieutenant 1966, squadron leader 1970 and wing commander on 1 January 1979.

As a commissioned officer I served on or was attached to most RAAF establishments within Australia including Officers Training School (OTS and Commanding Officers’ Law Course), 1 Stores Depot, Tottenham, Victoria (as an AC, corporal, sergeant and officer), Base Squadron Fairbairn, Weapons Research Establishment and Base Squadron Edinburgh, RSTT (as a senior NCO and officer on courses, and as an independent flight commander), Departments of Air and Defence, Headquarters Support Command (as an NCO and officer), No 2 Stores Depot, Regents Park NSW, Base Squadron, Darwin NT (as an NCO and officer) and 7 Stores Depot, Toowoomba, Queensland.

My overseas postings/attachments include Base Squadron Butterworth, Headquarters RAAF Butterworth, RAAF Support Unit Tengah, 2 Squadron Vietnam and Japan as a member of 29/84 Joint Services Staff College Course (JSSC) - the ‘Kamikaze’ Course. I successfully graduated from JSSC in July 1984 and was later posted to Defence Central as a senior staff officer in the supply organisation.

I submitted my resignation in 1984 and was discharged from the RAAF on 2 July 1985, having served for thirty-one and a half years. During my RAAF service I had about thirty-nine postings and attachments (aided by three years in Air Force Office as an Organisation and Establishments Inspector with the Directorate of Organisation and Establishments) and served in South East Asia for approximately three years. Places of career and general interest visited were Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Guam.

Career Highlights Being selected for and graduating from the Officers Training School, being a temporary commanding officer at both Base Squadron Darwin and No 2 Stores Depot, and commanding officer of No 7 Stores Depot in Toowoomba, Queensland. Graduating from the Joint Services Staff College in 1984 with forty-four officers from twelve different nations was a further highlight. I still keep in contact with members of the ‘Kamikaze’ Course.

Exciting Moments Breaking the sound barrier (as a passenger - under instruction) at about 27,000 feet in a Dual Mirage fighter over Malaysia and participating in exercises off Sydney’s coastline inside a RAN Oberon Class submarine - on joint RAAF and RAN exercises. Ironically, when posted to Defence Central (post JSSC) I was involved in the early stages with the Collins Class submarine project. Retirement In retirement I have traveled around most parts of Australia visiting areas of interest, especially mainland wineries in a FWD towing a caravan (for 13,000 km). I have completed welding and rural fire fighting courses and was a foundation member of the local Wivenhoe Pocket Rural Fire Brigade. As the opportunity arises my wife and I continue traveling but in comfortable sedans - without a caravan attached. I also pursue interests in genealogy, the military history of relatives since the Boxer Rebellion, computers and property maintenance.

Twice a week I provide computer training as a volunteer mentor for a government-sponsored program in the local area.

Ex-COs of No.7SD at Closure Ball 20 August 1993. Errol, second from right.

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