Mildura Weekly : Friday April 26 Vol 13 No 25
• THOUSANDS of people helped mark ANZAC Day across the region yesterday, with services at the Nichols Point War Graves and Henderson Park in particular attracting big crowds. Among those marking arguably the most important day on Australia’s calendar were former Mildura residents and now career soldiers, Major Robert Bailey and Colonel Mitchell Kent. See Page 6. Photo: PAUL MENSCH FA-18 A STEP CLOSER FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2019 VOL 13#25 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU FREE EVERY FRIDAY SHOP LOCAL TO WIN SEE PAGE 26 FOR DETAILS CAR&CASHGIV EA WAY Sometime ago the RSL made a formal request to the Defence Department to secure a FA-18s once the fleet is retired next year. The aircraft will be replaced by the new F-35 strike-fighter jet. Accompanied by National’s candidate for Mallee, Dr Anne Webster, the Minister toured the RAAF Museum ahead of meeting with Mildura RSL gen- eral manager, Kim Archibald, and club vice-president, Tyson Matheson, where the subject of the campaign to bring an FA-18 to Mildura was discussed. Minister Chester said that he was very impressed with the museum, adding that Mildura’s proud history in the training of pilots in WW2 made it truly worthy of receiving one of the aircraft, something he will put his weight behind in Canberra. “Anne has raised this proj- ect with me on a number of oc- casions, and I’m pleased to be here today to see the wonderful work the RSL has done in hon- ouring the memory of these brave pilots,” he said. “I am personally support- ive of what you are wanting to achieve, and it is the case that it can take a long period of time for Defence to decide these matters, but I will push them a little harder now.” Mr Archibald said that a new hangar facility will be built adjacent to the museum, and that in the interim, ar- rangements have been made with airport management to house the aircraft in a tempo- rary hanger. Mr Archibald explained to the Minister the important role that Mildura had played in the training of pilots for combat in the Second World War. “Fifty-two pilots lost their lives training here, and in its heyday, it was the biggest fight- er-training base in Australia,” he said. “It was a busy place, there were 1250 pilots trained here, who then went to the south west Pacific to engage the Japanese enemy.” Mr Archibald said that all of the pilots killed here are bur- ied in a Commonwealth War Cemetery at Nichols Point. “Every Anzac Day we hon- our their memory accordingly,” he said. The idea for having a Hor- net jet in Mildura has its origins with the strong relationship the RSL has established with the same unit that operated out of Mildura during the war, and is now located at the NSW, Williamtown Airforce base – 2OTU. (From 1942 until 1946 the airfield was a RAAF base and home to No.2 Operational Training Unit – 2OTU). • Continued Page 5 Minister to pursue fighter jet for Mildura RAAF Memorial and Museum By John Dooley firstname.lastname@example.org @MilduraWeekly @MilduraWeekly VETERAN Affairs Minister Darren Chester made a fly- ing visit to Mildura this week to meet with RSL repre- sentatives and during that meeting vowed to advocate strongly for the RAAF Memorial and Museum at Mil- dura Airport to acquire a FA-18 Hornet. Lest we forget...
Friday April 19 Vol 13 No 24
Friday May 3 Vol 13 No 26