Vale Alan George Killmier OAM

Our Life Member and good friend Alan died on 17 October at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He was 91 and had been in poor health for some time.

Alan contributed hugely to the Museum. He joined in 1998 and served on its Executive Committee from 2001 to 2008, including for five years as our Secretary. He founded our library soon after joining, with the gift of several hundred of his own books, and he founded the Museum’s History Group in 2005. He established a filing system in the library for historically significant documentation, and constantly added to it through his life-long fascination with aviation history and research. He was made a Life Member in 2015.

Alan’s aviation interests were much wider than just our Museum though. He was a founding member and was elected as Secretary of the Soaring Club of SA in 1943, when he was undergoing flight training with the RAAF. He established a distance gliding record with Harry Schneider in 1968. He served as Secretary of the Royal Aero Club of SA from 1949 until 1976. He received the Royal Aero Club Federation of Australia’s Federation Award in 1971 for his services to the aero club movement, and the Helmut Appitz Memorial Medal in 1973 for his services to the Adelaide Soaring Club. He was a long-term member of the RAAF Association and was presented with a Distinguished Service Award in 2013 for his services to the Mitcham Branch.

Unsurprisingly, given this life-long dedication to aviation and volunteerism, he was awarded an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.

Vale Alan – we are going to miss you.

Fairey Battle restoration gathers pace!

SAAM’s restoration/reconstruction of Fairey Battle N2188 is progressing well. Earlier this month the vertical fin, rudder and elevators were added to the horizontal stabilisers and aft fuselage section already assembled with the tailwheel and tail cone. The assembled structure gives a graphic demonstration of just how big this aircraft is going to be…

The assembly went well, although it took quite a number of volunteers to align the elevators for attachment as you can see in the smaller photograph!

The elevators are to be removed again to be fabric covered, then reattached with the various fuselage fairings installed.

History Group Profile “RAAF at Mt Gambier 1937-47” now available for downloading!

SAAM’s History Group Chairman, Peter Ingman’s profile of the RAAF at Mt Gambier 1937-1947 is available for download – just click on the image below. Peter tells the story of the RAAF’s early interest in Mt Gambier Airport immediately pre-WWII leading to its development as 2AOS – No. 2 Air Observers School – under the Empire Air Training Scheme. This is the second in a series of profiles Peter is writing about South Australia’s contribution to the EATS. He has also written the history of 2BAGS –  No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School –  in Port Pirie, which is also under the History Group tab/World War II. Have a browse – there’s lots of good reading there!