Home' Air Force News : May 26th 2011 Contents 21
May 26, 2011
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THE 2SQN chaplain who
was in Vietnam the night
Canberra bomber 'Magpie
91' disappeared on Novem-
ber 3, 1970, has been farewelled with full
Anglican Archdeacon Emeritus chap-
lain Bill Wheeler died of cancer.
His funeral service was held at St
George's Anglican Church at Winmalee
in the Blue Mountains on March
15 followed by a graveside service at
Former AIRCDRE Wheeler was born
in Cowra, NSW, in March 1937 and
enlisted in the Air Force in 1957. He
became a radio mechanic and was posted
to 11SQN at RAAF Base Richmond in
He became a Christian and felt a call
to the Ministry.
He discharged in 1960 after being
accepted into Moore Theological
He rejoined the Air Force as a chap-
lain in 1966, serving at five bases and
completing two tours to Malaysia. Then,
in 1970, he was posted as chaplain and
civil action officer to 2SQN in Vietnam.
In 1988, he was promoted to
members of the
bearer party stand
by the hearse
carrying CHAP Bill
left, an Honour
Guard of RAAF
the casket to
LACs David Said and
AIR FORCE BAND
May 27: The Air Force Clarinet Quartet
will support the LOGIS dining-in night
at the RAAF Base Williams Laverton
May 27: The Air Force Jazz Ensemble
will support the RAAF Base
Williamtown Sergeants' Mess ball.
May 27: The Air Force Wind Quintet
will provide background music for the
DITC dining-in night at the RAAF Base
Williams Laverton Officers' Mess from
May 28: The Air Force Jazz Ensemble
will support the RAAF Base Glenbrook
Officers' Mess ball.
June 3: The Ceremonial Band will
support the SATC graduation parade
for course 159 from 11.30am.
June 4: The Ceremonial Band will sup-
port the Townsville Freedom of the City
parade from 10am.
June 4: Force 10 will support the RAAF
Base Townsville All Ranks Ball at the
Combined Mess Facility from 7pm.
June 4: Air Power Brass will support
the Bomber Command commemo-
rative dinner at the Australian War
Memorial from 5pm.
June 5: Air Power Brass will support
the Bomber Command commemora-
tive ceremony at the Australian War
Memorial from 11am.
To confirm dates and timings, con-
tact WOFF Stephen Bate at the Air
Force Band on (03) 9256 2514.
AIRCDRE and posted to Air Headquarters
at RAAF Base Glenbrook as the command
chaplain. He also became Principal Air
Chaplain (Anglican) and Archdeacon of
the Air Force.
He retired in March 1994 and served
for 12 more years with the Anglican
parish of Blacktown before retiring to
Winmalee in the Blue Mountains.
The Winmalee Anglican church's
minister, Rob Powell, and the director
of chaplaincy at Air Command, CHAP
Kevin Russell, jointly led the service.
A number of his former Air Force
chaplain colleagues also attended the ser-
vice. CHAP Russell said Bill had asked
that his funeral, while a time of mourn-
ing, be a time of celebration of a life
lived and shared and service rendered.
"He never really retired," CHAP
Russell said. "He continued to serve for
a decade after his Air Force retirement at
Blacktown. Then, he might have slowed
down, but he continued to serve, continu-
ing among the veteran community and tak-
ing on a number of clergy locum roles."
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