3 Squadron LIFETIMES

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Squadron Leader Jack Carlisle DOYLE, DSO, DFC and Bar.


Malta. c. July 1943. Flying Officer Jack Doyle, pilot, No. 3 Squadron RAAF, checks over the instruments of his Curtiss P40 Kittyhawk aircraft
before starting up for an operation over Sicily. (AWM MEC2095)

Several Queensland members of the Association and representatives from 3 Squadron in Williamtown attended the funeral of Jack Doyle in Toowoomba, Queensland on the 11th of January 2010.

Jack flew two operational tours in Kittyhawk fighter-bombers over Africa and Italy during World War II.  Jack rose to the level of Flight Leader and Acting CO in 3 Squadron and led many missions, he later became Commanding Officer of 450 Squadron, remaining 450's CO until the war ended.  He flew for a total of 403 operational hours, much of it in the face of deadly German flak.  Once whilst dive-bombing a vital railway bridge in Italy in April 1944, he dropped his 1,000-pounder so low and accurately that shrapnel from the explosion ripped holes in the tail of his Kittyhawk.

In mid-1944, Jack was posted for a supposed "rest tour", leading a unit doing "Cab Rank" Forward Radio Control from the ground - directing attacks of Allied fighter-bombers onto priority enemy targets on the front line.  On one occasion, Jack chose as an observation position a large villa that the Germans had evacuated only 24 hours before. However the Germans had left a 250kg aircraft bomb in the basement as a booby trap and only a handful of the 20 people in the house survived when it went off.  Jack was lucky to be alive, having been high up in the attic when the chateau collapsed.

Jack had a very interesting post-war career, at first working in engineering manufacturing.  From the mid-1950s he became an outstanding commercial cine-cameraman working on TV documentaries and news photography.  Jack pioneered underwater photography in Australia. 

In his 70s, Jack was a successful "masters-level" cyclist.  Much of his spare time in his final years was spent generously giving his time to RAAF functions and assisting with the Toowoomba Grammar School archives, where he had been an “Old Boy”.

Having attained the age of 91 years, Jack passed away on 8 December 2009, at his home in Toowoomba.  Only three days earlier he had been welcomed by 20 Association members and friends at a Squadron luncheon at Goodna RSL, near Ipswich.   Jack was his usual outgoing self, greatly liked and respected by us all and still hearty and active.  It was a sad shock when he passed away only three days later.

Jack's biographical interview on the Veterans Affairs website is here:

3 Squadron LIFETIMES

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