Military Service

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Disco
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Military Service

Post by Disco » 11 Nov 2015, 11:29

As it's November 11th, and we completed our minute silence not too long ago I thought I'd hop on here and ask if anyone has served, or has family that has served in the ADF?

I have a few relations that fought in WW1/2, including a member of the 12th LHR and a pilot - and also one family member that accidentally shot himself in the arm in Egypt prior to heading to the front lines, and another who was discharged after 6 months of Officer Training. Mrs Disco also has a service history in her family, with a current NCO who has recently been to Afghanistan and another who served throughout the Vietnam war (I think).

I'd be curious to hear about anyone else's family stories or history if you'd like to share!
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Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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CherryRed
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Location: NSW, Australia

Re: Military Service

Post by CherryRed » 11 Nov 2015, 11:46

Very proud of the military background in my family; all three of my Uncles and one of my cousins on my mother’s side are ex-servicemen and of course my Dad’s nephew who has recently returned from UAE & Afghanistan. My good friend Nic is also the cousin of Lance Corporal Jared Mackinney who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, and it was an honour to locate his plaque and place a poppy on it for her when we visited the AWM in Canberra in 2011.

My workplace refuses to acknowledge the 1 minute of silence, which frustrates me, but as we have an ex-serviceman working with us here, he and I went outside and acknowledged the minute of silence of our own volition.
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Ralph Wiggum
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Re: Military Service

Post by Ralph Wiggum » 11 Nov 2015, 11:50

A family friend (him and his wife were the first friends my mum made when she came to Australia, he gave away my aunt at her wedding and I've always known him as Pa) flew in Bomber Command (piloting Lancaster Bombers) during WW2. There's a few accounts of his service online, one of the most noted being how he collided with another bomber over Berlin but managed to control the aircraft back to England. He earned the Distinguised Flying Cross and his name is painted on the Lancaster he flew which is on display at an air force museum in London (which I've seen)

Over the years he's given me a few "relics" like the souvenir folding knife from his squadron, books, photos. Sadly he passed away a few weeks ago and incidentally his birthday is today.
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Disco
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Re: Military Service

Post by Disco » 11 Nov 2015, 11:55

I met Laurie Woods DFC a few years ago in Brisbane when he was doing a signing for his books, it wasn't popular and only a few people turned up. I bought and still have the signed copy of that book.

Can't imagine what it must be like stuck in a tin can people people try to shoot it full of holes, they had a simulator in Canberra at the War Memorial there of a bomber flight deck, it got the heart racing and it was just a simulator :shock:
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Nekosan wrote:
29 Mar 2018, 00:36
Disco is fkn banned from the flamethrower. :lol:

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Ralph Wiggum
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Re: Military Service

Post by Ralph Wiggum » 11 Nov 2015, 12:03

Yeah, just reading his account makes my stomach turn: (sorry for the large post, the board doesn't support hidden tags yet)

‘Arrived at the target on time at about 20.000 feet with no cloud cover-contrary to met forecast. The whole Berlin area was a mass of waving searchlights about 40 miles in diameter. We completed our bombing run and had just selected bomb doors closed when we were coned by searchlights. They seemed to come from all directions at once. Evasive action corkscrew turns which were made in attempt to escape, failed. Heavy flak thumped in all around us, with puffs of black smoke and cordite smell, indicating how close they were. After a while, which seemed like eternity, the flak stopped as if by magic, which meant only one thing. Fighters were coming in.
I decided on desperate action and dived steeply down to the left and picked up speed to reach 300 mph at 10,000 feet before pulling out to the right and up. At that moment the searchlights lost us, although I was still dazzled. We were climbing as quickly as possible to gain height to get away from the light flak and back into the main bomber stream when suddenly the plane lurched and dived to port.
I thought we had lost power on one engine, but the rear gunner said we had hit another Lancaster. Full right rudder, full rudder bias and full aileron trim was applied, but Sugar still kept turning to the left. Further action was necessary, so power on the engines on the port side was increased and on the starboard side decreased until we were able to fly on course. All four motors were then switched to run off the port wing fuel tanks in an effort to eventually raise the port wing to a near level position. We jettisoned the bomb containers to lighten the load. The plane was now under control flying at the slow speed of 140 mph and gradually losing height. We decided to fly home straight to base at 140 mph -we would soon be out of the bomber stream which was taking a dog-leg route back. After about two hours, due to a lighter fuel load, we were able to maintain height at about 5000 feet. The crew made ready to bail out if necessary, as the amount of damage sustained could not be ascertained, and now that evasive action would not be possible, we would be sitting ducks for flak or fighters. Full right rudder was required for the 4-hour trip back. The engineer went into the bomb aimer’s compartment and assisted me by holding the rudder pedal with a strap around it, to give my leg a rest.
When nearing the coast of England we were directed to land at Linton-on-Ouse as Waddington was covered in fog At Linton-on-Ouse we were given priority landing behind a plane which was overshooting. At this time we were about 500 ft too high on the approach, but I decided to land as time was getting short.
As we touched down on the runway at 120 mph (about 20 mph too fast due to the steeper angle of descent) the port wing stalled. If I had made a normal approach at the correct speed, the plane would have stalled before landing and crashed. The aircraft ground looped at the far end of the runway due to the high landing speed and excessive breaking. Inspection of the damage revealed that about 5 feet of the wing tip was missing and a portion of the remaining damaged area which was turned down at right angles, caused the turning problem. S-Sugar was classified category Q and sent back to the manufacturers. The other Lancaster, from No 61 Squadron, was coned in searchlights and was taking avoiding action when we collided. The skipper confirmed this, when he landed at Waddington a few days later especially to see me to discuss circumstances. We were very lucky.’
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Nekosan
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Re: Military Service

Post by Nekosan » 12 Nov 2015, 00:30

Maternal grandfather invalidated out due to polio as a child, Paternal was an infantry officer in the SS somewhere on the Eastern front, got medically discharged after losing the back of both legs to spall when their leave train got strafed by fighters. Paternal grandmother was Polish and of somewhat sketchy(for the time and location and her husband's occupation at least) descent and I've never heard anything of the men on her side so god only knows where they fought but it was somewhat inevitable that they did.

Pretty much all the eligible aged males on mums direct side were in the Boer, all four came home IIRC, one lost both legs and "retired" to be a miner in the Klondike(i think it was the Klondike, have some pictures somewhere) with nothing below the knees but heavy tin legs.

We have someone at Fromelle and I think one German who died somewhere in the Ypres Salient but I don't know much about that side so far back.

Post WWII we've had just one in the Bundeswehr, one Digger in peacetime and one squid who saw Vietnam from the deck of a Daring class destroyer.

I think it's pretty damn hard to be of Australian or Euro descent and NOT have someone who served.
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Makena
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Re: Military Service

Post by Makena » 12 Nov 2015, 00:48

Bit of a history, my paternal grandfather and grandmother both served in WW2, my cousin served till he died (in a car accident after just getting back from a deployment) and my brother currently serves in the Army (as a clerk, but has still gone to Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and soon to the UAE)
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Polarice
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Re: Military Service

Post by Polarice » 12 Nov 2015, 06:55

I served between 99-06 in the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA). There used to be 3 others that I knew of back on the GON forums as well from the RAA, so there would be others from other corps or callings.
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