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Vale FLTLT Geoffrey Andres "Geoff" JENKINS
- Sabre Display Pilot and Instructor

6 December 1936 - 21 March 2018 
Aged 81 years

Our good friend and colleague, Geoff Jenkins, passed away in Townsville, Queensland, on Wednesday 21st March 2018. 

Geoff was born on the 6th of December 1936, at sea, in the John Burke Line ship  “SS Wandana”, whilst enroute from Cape York to Cairns.  At the time the Jenkins family were developing a Tea Tree (oil) plantation about four or five kilometres south of the very tip of Cape York. 

In 1954 Geoff, now living in Newcastle, joined the RAAF as one of 30 cadets in the 1954 intake of No.7 Course, RAAF College, Point Cook, Vic

After four years of College, Geoff and nine other colleagues graduated as pilots.  Geoff was posted to No.21 Squadron based at Laverton, Vic. 

In January 1959 Geoff was posted to undertake the first Sabre Conversion Course, the foundation of an operational posting to Malaya. 

Whilst on Tour in Butterworth in 1961, Geoff was enlisted a member of No.3 Squadron Sabre Display Teamwhich provided fairly regular and spectacular displays in the early 1960s. 

Pete Scully writes:
Geoff and Phil Dunn were members of the aerobatic team that I lead while we were in 3 Squadron in Malaya (as it was then known).   Our small aero team started on Australia Day - 26 Jan 1961 (an auspicious day but a working one, I see).  Unfortunately the team was never given a name, but we did perform widely.  

Besides events in Malaya, we gave an international display at Don Muang (Bangkok) during a SEATO exercise on 5 March '61 and then in Saigon on 21 March '61, just before the Vietnam war commenced.  (Although security was very tight even then;  we were instructed to do a very thorough pre-flight to ensure no bombs had been hidden, and the aircraft had armed guards.)  

On return to Malaya, we were the star attraction at the official opening of Singapore’s first International Airport – at Paya Lebar on 11 Apr '61.


A photo of Geoff (far right) taken in Saigon.  The Display Team were guests for the South Vietnam Air Force's "1st Birthday". 
In photo
[from left], SVN Host; 3SQN CO Cedric Thomas; SVN Host, Ron Johnson, Doc Morrison, Geoff Jenkins


The SVNAF took us for a day at Nha Trang – one of the most beautiful beaches. 
No tourists, clear waters and a private little setup with some pretty hostesses...
- Life was really tough!

In the years 1962 to '64, Geoff Jenkins completed the Qualified Flying Instructor Course (QFI)followed by a period instructing students at RAAF Pearce, WA. 

Returning to the east coast in 1964 he continued in No.2 OCU as instructor Sabre Conversions (including the Vampire Phases). 

Retiring from the RAAF about 1967, he joined a local airline servicing Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Wagga Wagga. 

In the years 1970 - 1990 Geoff continued commercial flying with Cathay Pacific International airline. 

Prior to his death Geoff was living in Townsville for about three years, and before that in Spain.  Unfortunately he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years before his death. 

Research by the Fighter Squadrons' Branch of the RAAF Association.

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