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Monday, June 24, 2024

RAAF veteran passes away ahead of 100th birthday

Please join us in wishing a happy heavenly birthday to Ronald ‘Ron’ Houghton, who sadly passed away in April – Ron would have turned 100 years old today.

In May 1942, Ron joined the RAAF and completed initial flight training in Temora and Uranquinty on Tiger Moth and Wirraway aircraft. He then sailed for England, via the United States, and completed his training on bombers, including Lancaster and Halifax aircraft. Following his training, Ron was posted to RAF Bomber Squadron 102 (Halifax) based in Pocklington in Yorkshire.

Most of the operations that Ron’s squadron took part in were bombing raids in northern Europe. One memorable daylight mission resulted in Ron being awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for ‘gallant service and devotion to duty in operations against the enemy’.

Ron celebrated his 21st birthday in London on VE Day (8 May). Ron says, “The end of the war was the best birthday present ever”.

Ron was a Flight Sergeant at discharge in November 1945. He said the best thing about his service was, “serving my country and making my English parents proud that I was part of the defence of their mother country. I also had some wonderful mates and crew, and got to fly about 13 different types of aircraft”. Ron always kept his original logbook, detailing every aircraft and operation he flew.

Ron joined Qantas after the war. He flew a Sunderland Flying Boat, then Boeing 747s, in the early 1970s. After retiring from commercial aviation, Ron flew light aircraft for pleasure and lectured in aviation at Newcastle and Sydney universities. He also completed three masters degrees and a doctorate in aeronautical engineering. He completed his last masters degree in aviation in 2016.

Ron also served as the President of the Bomber Command Association in Australia. He enjoyed keeping in touch with his English crew over the years.

Ron was married to Lois, who passed away in 1993. Ron and Lois are survived by two loving daughters.

Article originally posted by Veterans Affairs and Defence Minister, Matt Keogh. #Mattkeogh

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