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Monday, June 24, 2024

Happy 100th birthday Jean!

Wishing a very happy 100th birthday to proud veteran, Jean Thorn, of NSW.

Jean was born in Grafton, and was the youngest of eight children.

Prior to serving, Jean was (and still is) an accomplished pianist.

Jean joined the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force in November 1941 and was stationed at Richmond, NSW, and then Uranquinty, which was a farm area that was flattened and turned into a training facility for pilots. There were many downed aircraft in the paddocks, and even fatalities during the pilot training sessions.

Jean knew a number of pilots who sadly never returned.

Jean achieved the rank of flight sergeant and was the senior ranking female at Uranquinty. She was in charge of the Officers’ Messes.

Jean had many adventures while serving including being taken for trips to do stunts in planes; accidentally sleeping through an air-raid when everyone else spent the night in a bunker; and taking short-cuts through the paratrooper training area with her friend Norma.

She was also a member of the base band. With them, she travelled the local countryside on recruitment drives, playing her piano on the back of a truck.

After the war, in 1948, Jean married Lieutenant Francis Thorn, an Australian Army officer.

She also held many jobs. She was a tram conductor, worked in David Jones, became a doctor of chiropody, worked in patient care at the children’s hospital, was a tour guide and cook, a carer for her disabled daughter Sharon, and a volunteer for numerous organisations.

Jean credits her long life to always keeping busy, having the occasional drink, and not swearing or smoking.

Happy birthday Jean and thank you for your service. #TYFYS#OurVeterans

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