OCT 2010 – My wonderful ex RAAF mate , John Bushell shared a interesting story with me recently, regarding his connection to the RAAF F-4E Phantoms and F-111Cs he flew in back in 1970s.
John was a bombardier/navigator/GIB in the F-4E Phantom and a bombardier/navigator GOR in the F-111Cs. Prior to this he spent a few years in the CAC Canberra doing same role. Least in the Canberra he could crawl around if needs be.
Earlier this year John purchased from a model store on the internet a small F-4E Phantom in RAAF markings.
John was searching recently again searching online and saw a F-111C model on the webpage. It happened to be A8-127. John had flown in this aircraft as the navigator on the ferry flight from the United States.
John wrote to the webpage owners with his bit of historical background and they sent him a free F-111C model. John was asked by the model seller to send back to them a photo of him with the F-111C model.
John had noticed the F-4E Phantom he already brought, is made by the same company, so he arranged to get a photo taken with both models.
It is rare to see a living historical figure like John, holding a connection to his past of both types of aircraft he once flew in.
I wonder if there is room for a Canberra Mk.20 bomber next time… 🙂
John wore in flying operations in the F-4E and F-111C , a US issued HGU-2A/P helmet with a RAF issued P2 oxygen mask. Shown below is this rarely seen setup which is part of my RAAF flight helmet collection.
Thanks go to John for sharing this insight to his life and past experiences.