Researching RAAF Appliques….. by Anne H…

Written by AHQ

20 September 2018

You will all be familiar with the need to do some research to meet a request for a quilt or laundry bag.  Sometimes Jan-Maree can provide a template for an applique, otherwise we search for photos or information which we can use to create one.  As a newish addition to the AHQLB family I have had the joys of learning about various RAAF aircraft and have reasonably successfully appliqued F/18A Hornets, C130 Hercules and KC-30A refuelling planes. So, when the opportunity arose to visit a C17 Globemaster, what choice did I have but to do some hands-on research.

 Hobart hosted the Australian Antarctic Festival in early August.  One might expect to see Icebreaker vessels, Huskies and the occasional penguin at the waterfront displays, but there was a new addition, a C17 Globemaster on show at the airport. 
The blurb said:  As part of the Australian Antarctic Festival, the RAAF will make available for public tours one of the largest military transport aircraft in the world, the mighty C-17a Globemaster.  The aircraft is a veteran of several proof-of-concept flights linking Hobart Airport with the Wilkins Aerodrome near Australia’s Casey Station in Antarctica…

The Globemaster was brought down by 36 Squadron for a two day visit with 22 tours back to back.  My husband and I joined our allocated tour at Macquarie Wharf Cruise ship terminal for a bus out to Hobart airport.  We entered the airport security area under escort and as the bus rounded a hanger and approached the runway apron there was a collective ‘wow’ as we saw the Globemaster waiting on the edge of the runway.  It is BIG.

We had been advised that the cockpit visit might involve a queue due to limited numbers at one time, so as soon as we were allowed off the bus, I led the way up the ramp, straight to the cockpit stairs and up we went. After that we wandered around the body of the plane inside and out, getting an impression of just how big it is.  There were plenty of helpful crew available to answer questions. The Loadmaster commented that on the flight to Antarctica they had a very quick turn around on the ice, as they didn’t want to get stuck there.  He also mentioned that his wife, also in the RAAF, had received an AHQ laundry bag during her deployment, (and thank you).

While my husband was having a serious conversation about hydraulics, wing spans and take off speed (with and without load) I wandered over to the RAAF/36 SQDN merchandise table to see if there was anything I could use for quilts/LBs rather than asking Jan-Maree to send me RAAF crests etc.  I explained what I was looking for, and of course the crew member knew about Aussie Heroes, he had received a laundry bag.  What a nice, polite young man, he kept thanking me!  He also asked if I received many letters from recipients, as the Chaplain had encouraged them to reply.  I assured him I had received many emails and photos and that we all enjoyed making the items and hearing back.

After half an hour, the next tour arrived so we had to leave.  A big thank you to the RAAF and 36 Squadron for the visit, and especially thankyou to the friendly, polite and informative crew members. 
Anne H

C-17a Globemaster loading helicopters at Wilkins Aerodrome, Antarctica. © David Lomas.  Finalist in the Antarctic Photography Exhibition 2016.

Thanks for sharing Ann!  Great story! 

Till next time….. keep spreading the word and happy stitching!

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Sue Niven

    Wonderful read. Thanks for sharing, Great photos too.

  2. Robyn Hanstock

    Thank you to Ann, my husband, Michael enjoyed the story and photos too.


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