WW2 Navy Pilot Visits Doncaster

Doncaster Squadron in Victoria was recently visited by Mr Charles “Hank” Fargher, a former RAN pilot to discuss his military career.

When WWII began, Hank was an apprentice fitter and turner, this trade meant he was exempt from military service.

However he decided to join the RAAF in 1943 and expected to work as a fitter and turner there.

After basic training, he was told that they required Air Crew more desperately, so he began his training as an Observer. He spent his war time service in Cornwall in the UK. At wars end, he came back to Melbourne and was demobbed from the RAAF as a Flight Sergeant (Observer). Having heard that the RAN was soon to acquire an Aircraft Carrier, he walked across the road to the RAN recruitment office, still in his RAAF uniform.

Hank did his basic training followed an Officer’s course and was attached to 816 Squadron (RAN). Hank served on HMAS Vengeance (on lease from the Royal Navy) until HMAS Melbourne was commissioned.

On the Melbourne, Hank crewed Fairey Fireflys and Fairey Gannets, both Anti-Submarine aircraft. Hank also served on HMAS Sydney, the sister ship to the Melbourne. He spent 12 years in the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm, reaching the rank of Liuetenant and a further six years in the Royal Australian Navy Reserves.

The cadets found his talk very enlightening and we thank Hank for telling the cadets his story.

Birthday surprise for 17 year old cadets

Retaining older cadets as Warrant Officer and then Trainee Officers is vital to the organisation’s future success…

Starting from 2015, all serving cadets upon reaching the age of 17 will receive a special birthday package from the Australian Air League. This birthday pack includes a ‘passport’ letter from the Federal Training Commissioner, helpful information about becoming an adult leader in the Air League, information on the Federal team and a free voucher covering one year of annual subscription to mark the cadet’s transition into adult service.

Discussing the new initiative, Federal Training Commissioner Tom Short said, “Retaining older cadets as Warrant Officer and then Trainee Officers is vital to the organisation’s future success and we hope this new initiative will show older cadets how much we value their commitment and dedication.””

Air Force Officer and AAL Members Visits Old Squadron


AAL Gawler Airfield Squadron OFFCDT Lachlan Johnson Visit 13 Aug 14 With Officers

Gawler Airfield Squadron recently hosted a visit by RAAF Officer Cadet and former AAL Officer Lachlan Johnston. Lachlan has been a Second Officer at the Squadron before joining the Royal Australian Air Force in April. Lachlan recently graduated from the RAAF’s Officer Training School at RAAF Base East Sale and has been attached to 10 Squadron at RAAF Base Edinburgh. He commences his pilot training at Tamworth, NSW in October.

The cadets were thrilled to have their ‘old’ officer back in his RAAF uniform. Lachlan spent around 30 minutes answering questions from the cadets about life in the Air Force and the aircraft he has flown so far. The cadets were very interested in his experiences with 10 Squadron where he is attached to Crew 6 to assist the crew in their duties.

Officer Cadet Lachlan Johnston with cadets from Gawler Airfield Squadron

All cadets, Associate Members and Officers wish Lachlan all the best with his pilot training.

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