3 Squadron STORIES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search

Mick Hickey Writes of his Mirage Days at Butterworth:

a3-103.jpg
Mirage A3-103 with 3 Sqn "Framies". John Altonen, Skinny Carn, Col Kitson, Tim Heyman, Jeff Bennett
[From Mick Quinn's Collection]

As a baggy-arsed corporal, I remember "V8" (nickname of the pilot Veneziato - or something like that) kiss the ground after getting out of A3-103, having recovered from a flat spin which took them from 37,000ft to 10,000ft.  Apparently the French Lady was not very forgiving once in a flat spin.  V8 was back seat, and I cannot remember who was flying (probably just as well).

During that time at Butterworth, I strapped Mirages on the back of various guys, most notably Mel Hupfeld, bograt at the time and Billy Henman, also bograt.  They have both been CO's of F/A18 Squadrons since then, and I actually worked for Billy at 2OCU.

My time at Butterworth was between Sep '84 and Sep '86, after that I was sent to Hercs.  It was not until '92 that I was recalled to the fighter stream.

Having served four years with 77 Sqn, and then 6 years with 2OCU, I returned to 3SQN.  There are a lot of stories that I have heard, and some that I can embellish (hopefully truthfully) ...

Mick has contributed another brief story about Mirage pilot Reg Miesner:

Reg came down for an "Aces North" course (Fighter Combat Instructor) with 2OCU in 1984.  The Mirage gunsight was a lot less than totally reliable and a lot of people came up with various excuses for poor air-to-air gunnery scores.  Most of them, of course, blamed the gunsight.

Reg, on the other hand, overcame the problem by drawing an "X" on the windscreen of his supersonic jet fighter using his chinagraph pencil.  - He regularly (OK, always!) ended up shooting the highest scores.

He had a philosophy that he regularly recited to we tired (hungover...) troops.  That was:

"It's OK to hoot with the owls, as long as you can still scream with the eagles."

I can verify that he did both very effectively!

3 Squadron STORIES

3 Squadron RAAF HOME / Search