JOHN LAMING
10 SQUADRON RAAF
TOWNSVILLE

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Lincoln Tales
Stories of 10 Squadron RAAF in Townsville
Old 113
Story about Mustang A68-113 based in Townsville with 10 Squadron RAAF in the 1950's
Do you believe in Gremlins
Stories of 10 Squadron RAAF in Townsville
A Messerschmitt & a Blackbird on a Tree
Stories of a 7 year old in Kent during WWII
A Date with Juliet
An encounter with typhoon Juliet in a Boeing 737

 

Subject:     long nose lincolns
Date:              Fri, 18 Dec 1998 21:20:41 +1100
From:            "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Dear Peter

I have just joined the internet in the last couple of days, and have just seen your website. I flew 3000 hours on Long Nose Lincolns at various times between 1953 and 1960, and have written several stories (see above) on my experiences on the type as a QFI. Nice to hear from you if you are interested.

cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:   Lincolns
Date:   Sun, 20 Dec 1998 13:46:47 +1100
From:   "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Dear Pete,

I am delighted this email stuff works. Ihave a new email address. It is a sort of post office semi-permament in case Alphalink goes tits-up in the future. Please send any future email to self at :

jlaming@bigfoot.com

The alphalink address will still get to me, however. I am attaching an unpublished story for your interest. It is quite accurate as I double check the facts from a daily diary that I have kept since I joined the RAAF, and of course my log books. A QFI is the RAAF term for "Qualified Flying Instructor ". In civil airline parlance it goes by the grandiose title of Check and Training Captain. I did two tours of No 10 Squadron at Townsville flying the ordinary short nose Lincoln Mk 30, and mostly on the Mk 31 Long Nose. I helped write the chapter on the Long Nose which appeared in "Lincoln at War ", by Brian Goulding and Mike Garbutt in UK

In the next few days I will write more paragraphs on my Lincoln flying to add to the current unfinished manuscript. I have done a bit of writing on Boeing 737 flying. Sometimes my articles get published in AOPA magazine Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) and Rag and Tube (Antique Aircraft Society and Historical Aviation Society of Australia) I rarely get paid for them but what the hell, I enjoy writing anyway. Thanks for the info on your Research Home page. I will have a look at that .

Cheers John Laming. 20 Dec.

 

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Subject:  Re: Lincolns
Date:          Wed, 30 Dec 1998 22:58:01 +1100
From:         "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Dear Peter,

No, I don't have a scanner yet, but intend to get one in the next few days. I know nothing about their operation, but am going into the city tomorrow to ask for a demo at various shops. I will get some shots of 113 and Lincolns through to you in a few days. Thanks for the Xmas card. If you want some stories of 10 Squadron in the Sixties, you could contact a bloke called Mal Wincon who was a corporal engine fitter on the Mk 31. I keep in touch with him. He was a superb engineer, and flew a lot with me in the Lincoln and a local Wirraway. His address: 69, Halifax St, Garbutt, Townsville. Tel: 077-796368. He would be about 68 now.

Re the Lincoln story. I will get stuck into it promptly. I have a lot to tell, and your interest has galvanised me to put pen to paper again.. Thanks for the incentive. Watch this space!!!

Cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:    Lincoln Tales
Date:             Thu, 31 Dec 1998 19:18:03 +1100
From:            "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Pete.

Thanks for the corrections advised in the story. I have changed them. A GCA is a radar controlled approach to land - or simply a talk down Although the Poms used it a lot in UK for both civil and military aircraft, the ever conservative Australian Dept of Civil Aviation never accepted it in Australia for civil use. The RAAF used it exclusively and I have done many of these talk downs We did not have a GCA at Townsville as far as I can remember. The controller would talk you down to 200 ft from where you should hopefully see the runway just in front of you. The big limitation was that it was useless in heavy rain as the controllers radar screen was blotted out with lots of green specks and he did not know which speck was the aircraft.

You are right. The dictionary word is "Taxi " but I have always used taxy for some obscure reason It gets awkward when one says "Taxying in to the tarmac" and taxying looks neater than "Taxiing" Your choice!!

Cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:    Lincolns
Date:             Sun, 17 Jan 1999 23:49:25 +1100
From:           "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Peter

Do not remember Abercrombie in 1953, but that is not unusual as I did not know the names of lots of fitters and it is too long ago. Re the 10 Sqn Lincoln prang. I know a lot about that one. All were killed when the aircraft was doing a mercy flight from Townsville to Eagle Farm airport Brisbane. The crew were all experienced wartime including the captain Wng Cdr Costello who flew Sunderlands. I had flown with Costello on a couple of trips at 10 Sqn. In fact I was supposed to be the pilot of the crashed aircraft that night, but the call for the trip went to the CO's house, even though I was officially standby SAR pilot. There was a party on at his house with all the squadron senior officers, so as it was urgent (baby girl desperately ill at Townsville hospital and urgent need to get her down to Brisbane for treatment). He decided to grab the senior navigator, senior signaller, and the engineer officer and got airborne in the early hours of the morning. The aircraft reported Brisbane lights in sight and commenced descent in and out of cloud. There were no navaids in those days on the Lincoln - navigation was by astro sun/moon shots on a sextant. Problem was that the aircraft was 60 miles right of track and the reported lights were actually Toowoomba.

It was the old story which has killed countless airmen since year dot ie. Letting down through cloud blind without first having a positive navigational fix. All were killed when the Lincoln hit Mt Superbus near Oakey. Included the baby and a nurse.

I was sent down a few days later in another Lincoln to pick up the bodies of the nurse and baby for a funeral at Townsville. I struck unbelievable strange happenings on our aircraft worthy of the best of ghost stories in our attempts to get the bodies back. I will let you know more later. The prang was on 9th April 1955 . I flew A73-68 down to Brisbane on April 11 to pick up the remains.

Cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:  Lincolns
Date:      Tue, 26 Jan 1999 22:33:38 +1100
From:    "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Dear Peter,

No problem at all. Use the Lincoln prang as required. I will add info on two more prangs with Long Nose Lincolns at Townsville later on. Both write offs after asymmetric landings that went wrong. No casualties. I will be away overseas from 1 feb to 24 feb on a Boeing 737 simulator course in Stockholm. Cheers JL Tomorrow I will attempt to scan a photo of one of the prangs and transmit to you.

Cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:    Re: OLD 113
Date:             Mon, 1 Mar 1999 00:08:33 +1100
From:           "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Peter Dunn>  I have just discovered a photo and a sketch of A68-113 in a book I have at home. They are now on the OLD-113 home page.

Peter Dunn>  By the way, this book also talks about a mustang bought by British racing car driver Ron Flockhart who was killed in it at Kallista, Victoria in the Dandenong Ranges on 12 April 1962. However it was not old 113. It was A68-173 which became VH-JWB according to this book. It was later changed though to VH-UWB.

Peter.

Re Mustang 113. I was told by an absolute expert in aircraft registrations that there was various wrong info on some Mustang civil regos published in some Australian Mustang publication. In fact it was definitely 113 that pranged into the Dandenongs with Flockhart. I will forward info on my source to you later. I have just returned fro Stockholm on a 737 simulator instructor job. Will email you later this week when I get over jet lag

Cheers John Laming

 

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Subject:    Re: OLD 113
Date:             Mon, 1 Mar 1999 19:22:51 +1100
From:           "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

Pete .

Further to the 113 saga. I talked to a John Hopton in Melbourne (tel; 03-9529-8315) today, and he confirmed that it was 113 that pranged with Flockhart aboard into the Dandenongs. Hopton really does have the history of about every aeroplane tucked away in his brain. He said that he has no idea about the fate or whereabouts of 173 but suspects it was scrapped along with two thirds of the RAAF mustangs. He said that 113 was the aircraft that became JWB and the rego was actually painted on the fuselage. The owner was a John Brookes hence he decided to to the ego bit and use his initials JWB as the rego for the aircraft which was 113.   Apparently DCA refused to accept the rego JWB because the first letter J was already kept allotted for RAAF aircraft. So to avoid more painting expense, the owner turned the J into a U and that then became the new rego of UWB. Flockhart painted the British rego GARUK only a few hours before he crashed. See the magazine Classic Wings Downunder Issue 9, page 39 dated April/June 1996 for a photo of 113 aka UWB taken about an hour before it crashed.. When I get a handle on my new scanner, I will transmit the photo to you.

Suggest you could phone John Hopkins at home if needed to verify all this. he said that a couple of Australian produced books about Mustangs got the 173 versus 113 wrong, but as they appear in print everyone automatically thinks that is correct info. Not always so, as you can see. I remember talking to John Hopkins about 113 when I first decided to write the Old 113 article. I knew he was a historian of high repute. So there you are - old 113 is indeed the aircraft that Flockhart pranged.

John Laming

 

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Subject:      Re-establishing Contact
Date:              Sat, 6 Mar 1999 00:09:09 +1100
From:            "John Laming" <batwings@alphalink.com.au>

To:                 "Brian Smith" <bsmith@octa4.com.au>,
                    "Maurie Baston" mbaston@ozemail.com.au,
                    "Neville Hill" <nifty@squirrel.com.au>,

                    "Peter Dunn <pdunn@st.net.au>,
                    "John McKenzie" <mckenzie@alphalink.com.au>

-----Original Message-----
From: StanGajda <stangajda@mail.fm>
To: John Laming <batwings@alphalink.com.au>
Date: Friday, 5 March 1999 11:20
Subject: Re-establishing Contact

Hello John,

Just read your e-mail. Do not reply to author because Telecom here got it wrong even though my address is shown on your page as stangajda etc.

My correct e-mail address here is stangajta@mail.fm

..................

Still working here and playing with the Jap tanks. There are 17 of them and at the moment Mitch and I are cleaning them out. Each has about 18 inches of muck throughout the insides. There are 12 still to go! The only good thing about this is that sometimes we find interesting items down in the bowels that got left behind when the war ended.

I am onto a aircraft wreck site in a remote part of the eastern side of the island. It is American and a single engine job. Went straight in vertically according to an elderly eyewitness. Reckons the Japs never bothered with it. I think it might be an F4U Corsair. One was listed as missing and never found. Could be an interesting site. Hope to get out there this Sunday. Will let you know what we find.

Also have located a A6M2 Zero near town. Looks like it went in soon after takeoff and the pilot mushed it into the jungle. Lots of good paint and little corrosion. Has been hacked apart by the locals in later years. Wing spars sawn through at the cockpit, wing guns axed out - you know the usual gorilla treatment. Engine is complete except for reduction gear because the prop took a fair knock. Black cowlings, dark blue wing undersides, upper wings and fuselage are green. Fuselage aft of the cockpit is now gone but the entire tail is still there. Apart from the butchery this wreck is one of the better ones I have seen in the Pacific. It is now still far better than any of the zeros were in Nauru even in the old days (1983-4). I will try and get it off the landowner and just preserve it in a shed for the time being.

A Navy B-25 also was shot down here and it went into a hillside. In recent years the water supply people decided that a large water tank had to go right on the exact crash site so it got bulldozed. Near the impact site (now gone) in the jungle is an engine and prop, one main undercart with wheel, one tailfin and 1/2 the horizontal stabiliser, three 250lb bombs and some minor wreckage. Sort of site you only want to visit once. It is about 5 miles south of town.

Do you have any aviation magazines you don't want? Please mail them across to:

C/- Adams Brothers Corporation
PO Box 485
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941
Federated States of Micronesia
Central Pacific

Thats all for now. Hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards

Stan

 

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This page first produced 12 March 1999

This page last updated 05 September 2015