Home' Air Force News : April 14th 2011 Contents 15
April 14, 2011
FLTLT Skye Smith
NUMBER 4 Squadron experienced
its first change of command in 65
years as WGCDR David Paddison
handed over leadership of the unit
to WGCDR Stuart Bellingham on
WGCDR Paddison took com-
mand of the newly reformed 4SQN
at RAAF Base Williamtown on July
3, 2009. The last change of com-
mand at 4SQN was 1946 before the
unit disbanded in 1948.
4SQN delivers highly skilled
and deployable Air Force personnel
who have an essential role in the
integration of new air power.
After it was re-formed, the
squadron took on three main roles,
including the provision of ADF
support, the delivery of the combat
control capability and joint terminal
attack controller (JTAC) training.
4SQN is also playing a role in the
operational test and evaluation of the
Super Hornet and will continue to
adapt as modern air power develops.
OC 82WG GPCAPT Steve
FLTLT Skye Smith
THE inaugural SGT Tim Tovell
Shield has been presented to
4SQN's SGT Paul Ward for his
loyalty, dedication, compassion
and pride in the unit and Air
The shield was the creation
of former CO 4SQN WGCDR
Paddison, who presented it dur-
ing the squadron's change of
command ceremony on March
21. The shield's namesake,
SGT Tovell, was a former
4SQN member who in WWI
rescued a French boy who had been
orphaned during a German bombard-
ment. After finding young Henri Hemence
wandering around the 4SQN Mess on
Christmas Day in 1918, SGT Tovell fed
and looked after the boy for the remain-
der of his tour in France. He and other
squadron members then smuggled Henri
back to Australia, after which SGT Tovell
adopted him and raised him as his own.
"SGT Ward has demonstrated similar
values to SGT Tovell during his tenure at
4SQN," WGCDR Paddison said.
He said SGT Ward, an avionic techni-
cian, had displayed considerable depth
and knowledge of the PC-9 and its sys-
tems during his post.
"He has consistently shown leadership
and professionalism in all aspects of his
work, which has resulted in the avionics
section performing to the very highest
standard," WGCDR Paddison said.
"That, combined with his ability to
impart knowledge to other members of the
squadron, facilitates the strengthening and
progression of the technical skill levels of
the maintenance personnel within this unit.
"SGT Ward's efforts to improve esprit
de corps and his involvement in activities
outside the realm of his base trade are also
reflected in the performance of 4SQN and
the morale of its people."
In a tragic end to the Tovell story,
Henri aimed to join the RAAF as an
apprentice, but died in a motorbike acci-
dent in 1928.
4SQN members restored Henri's grave
site at Fawkner Cemetery, which was
rededicated on November 29 last year.
WGCDR Paddison said the compas-
sion shown to those less fortunate was
still a trait present in modern Air Force.
"The simple act of securing a better
life for Henri created a sense of cohesion
and purpose among squadron members, a
sense of unified purpose which 4SQN still
endeavours to uphold to this day," he said.
Henri Hemence was brought to
Australia with the knowledge of
the senior WWI officers, includ-
ing CAPT George Jones, later Sir
George Jones, Chief of the Air Staff
Smuggled from France to England
in 1919, he was spirited aboard the
troopship bringing the squadron
home in a sack containing loaves
of bread, and was later adopted by
Tovell and his wife in Queensland.
Henri wanted to join the RAAF but
had to wait until he could be natu-
ralised at the age of 21. He became
a civilian apprentice mechanic
at Point Cook but was killed in a
motorbike accident outside the
Windsor Hotel on May 23, 1928.
No volley was fired at Henri's
funeral nor the Last Post sounded
because he was not a member of
the RAAF. However, his coffin bore
Australian Flying Corps colours,
uniformed airmen were pall bearers,
and a RAAF wagon and trailer took
the coffin to Fawkner cemetery.
In 2009, Henri's restored grave site
was rededicated in Melbourne after
4SQN members raised money for
a sandstone memorial through a
public appeal. The dilapidated sand-
stone memorial was removed and
a new granite ledger placed over
Henri's resting place.
his SGT Tim
DRAMATIC ENTRY: Henri
Hemence who came to
Australia concealed in a sack.
Roberton welcomed WGCDR
"WGCDR Bellingham brings
a wealth of experience to 4SQN
from his previous role with the Joint
Capability Coordination Branch,
and I have every confidence he will
continue Air Combat Group's vision
for the special tactics capability."
GPCAPT Roberton also thanked
WGCDR Paddison for his time as
"WGCDR Paddison has accom-
plished a significant amount at
4SQN, particularly as the ADF
moves forward with the combat
controller capability," GPCAPT
"His knowledge of air power
doctrine, particularly the integration
of fast jets, has enabled the develop-
ment of a unique and strong capa-
bility of Air Force's elite combat
controllers, JTAC and forward air
WGCDR Paddison is now look-
ing forward to an overseas posting
to the US Joint Forces Command as
a liaison officer.
left, with the
Photo: LAC Mark
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