HELMAN, David John

Service Number: A221745
Enlisted: 26 February 1963
Last Rank: Squadron Leader
Last Unit: Base Squadron Edinburgh SA
Born: Forbes, New South Wales, Australia , 10 July 1941
Home Town: Forbes, Forbes, New South Wales
Schooling: Forbes High School/Melbourne University High School
Occupation: Shunter, NSW Railway
Memorials: Forbes Cenotaph
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Non Warlike Service

26 Feb 1963: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, SN A221745

Vietnam War Service

8 Mar 1966: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Corporal, SN A221745, Base Squadron Ubon
8 Mar 1966: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Corporal, SN A221745

Non Warlike Service

1 Jan 1989: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Squadron Leader, Base Squadron Edinburgh SA

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Biography contributed by Elsa Reuter


Born at Forbes NSW on 10 July 1941 and joined the RAAF in 1963. His category/musterings included Drill Instructor, RAAF Police and Warrant Officer Disciplinary He was commissioned in the Administrative Branch in 1978. He later transferred to RAAF Police Branch. He married Margaret Batt (1964) and they have two adult children.

During his service he was posted to bases in NSW, Victoria and SA. His attachments included: Security duties during United States Presidential visit by Lyndon B Johnstone, a number of visits by the Queen, Prince Charles and Princes Dianna. He was posting to Ubon Thailand during the Vietnam War (1966) where he was employed in ground defence and aircraft security duties.

He also had appointments as Chairman of the Mess Committee Sergeants Mess RAAF Base Tottenham (Vic) 1973 -76. President of the Mess Committee RAAF Support Unit Barton Tce North Adelaide 1979 – 80. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace (SA) in 1986 and carried out duties related to the appointment from his home and Salisbury Library.

On retirement from the RAAF (1989) he spent six years in PNG working as a Security Officer with Placer Pacific Gold mining company in Porgera Western Highlands. His duties included instructing Royal New Guinea Constabulary members in the Western Highlands on Police and investigation procedures. He also conducted investigations of fraud and theft by mine staff. On return to Australia, (1996) David purchased 40 acres of land in the Barossa Valley and developed an Olive Grove. He sold this property in 2002 and retired to Walkley Heights SA.  He was placed on the JP retired list due to ill health in 2013.

He rejoined the RAAF Association (RAAFA) South Australia Division in 1990 and was elected President of the Ubon Branch of the Association in 2003). In 2004 he was appointed as Secretary of the Combined Ex-Services Mess Committee, a position he held for just over 12 months. The following year he was elected Secretary of the RAAFA SA Division (2005). The following year he was elected State President of the RAAFA 2006 (current). At the same time, he became a member of the RAAFA National Council (Current). Also during his time as President of the RAAF Association he was appointed a founding member of the Veteran’s Advisory Council (SA) on which he served for three years, (2009 – 2012). He was also the CEO of the Consultative Council of Ex-Service Organisations (SA) 2006 – 2014). Also during his time as State President he was appointed a Life Member of the RAAF Association.

© 2016 David Helman