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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

Dick Purdie (VK2ARP)

June 30, 1989

Sqn-Ldr Dick Purdie M.B.E. VK2ARP (VK2RP) my father, was a professional telegraphist and First Class radio operator who enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy during WW1 in 1916 as a boy of 14 years. Dick remained in the RAN until 1928 when leaving to establish his own radio business. This business like so many others foundered during the great depression. He was immediately able to obtain work as a telegraphist with the Postmaster Generals Dept. handling all kinds of traffic at high speeds. Owing to his skills and naval technical background he was induced to join the newly formed Royal Australian Air Force in 1930 as a wireless operator. During WW11 he was part of MacArthur's famed RAAF signals intelligence unit. Dick remained with the RAAF until the end of the Korean War thereby earning the unique distinction of having served Australia throughout three wars. In 1954 HM Queen Elizabeth 11 presented my father with his medal in the Order of the British Empire for services to Australia in general and Wireless in particular. His later years were spent as a Postmaster only to be forcibly retired when they accidently discovered he was celebrating his 72nd birthday. The final years were regular skeds with old navy and air force pals until they all disappeared one by one. As his son, my saddest moment was fulfilling an obligation to notify all those listed in his "book" of his passing - there was no one left - he was the last. -- A very grateful Son, Ian Purdie VK2TIP

Contributed by: Ian Purdie (VK2TIP)

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