Home' Air Force News : August 18th 2011 Contents 27
August 18, 2011
Give your partner a say --
your family 'serves' too
Centre for Military and Veterans' Health
Timor-Leste Family Study
CMVH is running one of the first Australian studies investigating
the family's experience of military service, particularly
ADF members - We need to hear from your partners! You
have participated in many studies, but they have not.
Please tell us your partner's contact details when you fill out
your form for the Timor-Leste Family Study. We will then send
your partner an invitation and they can decide if they want to
The participation of your partner and yourself in this study will
help us better understand the effects of service and deployment
on all military families. 1800 708 335
A study under the Department of Veterans' Affairs Family Study Program
FLGOFFs Abhineet Singh
and Dayne Schmidt
A CHAPTER of Australian military aviation history
ended with the disbandment of the NSW branch of
the Catalina Association.
The association was formed in 1946 by former
RAAF personnel who had flown and maintained the
iconic aircraft in 6, 8, 11, 20, 42, and 43SQNs and
three air-sea rescue flights, 111, 112, and 113.
11SQN XO SQNLDR Roy Philpott, who attend-
ed the final ceremony on June 30 at Albion Park and
the disbandment luncheon in Sydney, said the occa-
sion was sad as it represented the end of an era.
"The members, however, accepted the fact that
they were not as mobile as they once were and with
FINAL GATHERING: CHAP Murray
Earl, AIRCDRE Terrance Delahunty
(representing CAF), SQNLDR Roy
Philpott, WOFF Kevin Gardner
and FLGOFF Abhineet Singh join
members of the NSW Branch of the
Catalina Association and interstate
association members from other
branches in front of a Catalina at the
branch's disbandment ceremony at
Photo courtesy 11SQN
Sad day for
realised they had
little choice but to
disband," he said.
"One of the vet-
erans who has lived
in Tasmania for the
past 30 years had not
seen a Cat since he
last worked on them
as a technician [with
11SQN] in 1946."
was designed by
in the US and
in 1936 with the US
The first of
arrived in February
1941 and were
employed by the RAAF in the Pacific area. By
April 1942, eight of the original 10 aircraft had been
destroyed. However, their importance to the war
effort had been realised and a steady flow of them
was delivered; 168 by the end of the war.
They attacked Japanese shipping and port facili-
ties but later, their predominant role was mine-laying.
They were painted black and became known as
the Black Cats.
CO 11SQN WGCDR Phil Champion paid tribute to
the association and the legacy it left for the squadron.
"The youngest of the Catalina veterans are now
in their mid-80s with many well and truly into their
90s, but their spirit will live on," WGCDR Champion
"11SQN will take over the mantle of the asso-
ciation and this is one of the main reasons why it
adopted Felix the Cat as its official mascot.
"Images of Felix were painted on 11SQN's
Catalinas for good luck.
"As the 'Clever Cat with the box of tricks', Felix
was a fitting mascot for them as their operations
often involved sneaking boldly in behind enemy
lines -- usually at night -- and using their intelligence,
stealth and agility to rescue Allied soldiers, sailors
and airmen and to disrupt enemy operations.
He said Felix remained a fitting mascot for
11SQN now it operates the AP-3C aircraft.
"The Orion has its own 'box of tricks', which
is used to support Australia's national security and
contribution to coalition operations," WGCDR
"Felix's reputation as being light-hearted and
having the last laugh without being the tough guy
are also characteristics with which the squadron
est of the
now in their
-- WGCDR Phil
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