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 AVM Ronald Thomas SUSANS. DFC, DSO, CBE.
25/02/17 - 02/12/92


Air Vice Marshal Susans is strapped into a RAAF F4 Phantom by his son Marty.  Darwin, October 1972.

Ron was born on the 25th of February 1917 in Manly, NSW, and enlisted as an Air Cadet on the 5th of February 1940.  He was a RAAF “permanent” officer and served in Africa and Italy between January 1943 and October 1944. Ron had two confirmed aerial victories with 3 Squadron in 1943.  (Both Italian Macchi Mc202 fighters, one over Tunisia and one in Sicily.)

Ron was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943 while he served with No.3 Squadron RAAF.  His DFC citation reads as follows: 
“Flight Lieutenant Susans has taken part in a large number of operational sorties, having led his Squadron on many successful bombing and low-level attacks on enemy shipping and communications under intense anti-aircraft fire.  This Officer has been engaged in air combat during which he has destroyed at least two enemy aircraft and damaged others.  Although his aircraft has been hit by anti-aircraft fire on several occasions, FLTLT Susans' enthusiasm is undiminished and he has continued to display a fine fighting spirit and great devotion to duty.”

Ron undertook another tour of duty with No.79 Squadron RAAF in November 1944, where he became Commanding Officer.  He was then posted, in May 1945, to lead No.80 (Fighter) Wing, replacing Bobby Gibbes (after the ‘Morotai Mutiny’).  Ron remained with the RAAF after WW2 and took up the post of Commandant, RAAF Parafield (S.A.), from 1945-46.  He then commanded No.77 Squadron RAAF in the occupation of Japan, flying Mustangs, from 1946 to ‘48.  Following that, he commanded No.25 Squadron, Perth, from 1948-50.  He then took over 77 Squadron for a second time, and led 77 Squadron to Korea for that conflict, where he initiated a ground-attack programme using rockets.

Ron was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1952, along with the DFC (US) and the US Air Medal.  Other appointments included Air Attaché in Paris in 1960-63, Director General Operational Requirements, Department of Air, in 1966-69 and finally Commander Integrated Air Defence System Malaysia 1971 to ‘74, during which time Ron was made a Companion of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).  He retired in 1975 with the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.  Ron died on the 2nd of December 1992, in Taree, NSW.

Ron’s son Marty SUSANS retired from the RAAF as a WGCDR and wrote the book The RAAF Mirage Story which won the ‘RAAF Heritage Prize’ in 1989.  [Marty had Ron contribute a chapter on his dealings with the Dassault organisation.]

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