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60 years on, a different flight

06 Mar 2014

60 years on, a different flight Image

More than sixty years after beginning their training at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) College, a group of graduates celebrated in Docklands.

Docklands resident Colin Noble was part of the group, which entered the college at Point Cook in January 1954 and was joined by his cohort to mark the special occasion.

The group gathered for dinner at Harbour Town’s Gold Leaf restaurant before taking a “flight” of a different kind – taking a ride on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel.

Mr Noble said the group had delayed celebrating its actual 60th anniversary in January so they could combine their festivities with the 100-year celebration of military aviation in Australia at Point Cook on March 1.

According to Mr Noble, his was the last course in the Commonwealth to do its basic training on the iconic WWII training aircraft, the Tiger Moth.

Another fond memory of the cohort was the Queen’s first official visit to Australia in 1954.

“In 1954, two months after starting, the course had the honour of participating in the Guard of Honour welcoming the new Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, to Victoria when she stepped off her plane at Essendon,” Mr Noble recalled.

“The course also took part in the parade at Point Cook, where for the first time, a reigning monarch reviewed the Royal Australian Air Force on parade.”

Mr Noble said members of the course flew in all of the operational front-line aircraft of the period including the Meteor, the Sabre, Mirage, Canberra, Dakota, Lincoln, Neptune, Orion and F111.

The members served in conflicts of the period including the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian-Malaysian confrontation and the Vietnam War.

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