Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
Remembering WWII Veteran Robert Edward Norman Geale (1925-2009) Bob   Geale   was   a   friend   of   the   Wartime   Heritage   Association   and   was   involved   in   sharing   some   of   his   wartime   experiences,   photos   and   historical   information, which    contributed    to    the    Association’s    wartime    theatrical    stage    musical productions.   It   was   an   honour   to   have   known   him   and   he   will   be   remembered. Our condolences go out to all family and friends. From the RAN (Royal Australian Navy) Radio Mechanics Association Newsletter # 70, December 31, 2009: Robert   Edward   Norman   Geale,   known   affectionately   to   all   as   "Windy",   was   born in   Welland,   Canada   on   19th   March,   1925   and   was   deceased   in   Nowra,   NSW   on Sunday, December 6th, 2009, at age 84 years. During   ww2   Windy   served   in   the   Royal   Navy   as   a   Telegraphist   Air   Gunner   and maintained   his   own   airborne   radio   equipment;   as   such   he   was   a   ?Radio   Mechanic. Later, Windy married Kathleen (Kit) Ryall who was a WREN Radio Mechanic (Air). Subsequently,   Windy   served   in   the   Royal   Canadian   Navy   Fleet   Air   Arm   and   later still   he   joined   the   Royal   Australian   Navy   and   served   in   its   Fleet   Air   Arm.   Windy became a Lieutenant Commander. In recent years Windy was very active in support of the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Nowra where he was a Curator and Historian. Windy   was   awarded   Life   Membership   of   the   Fleet   Air   Arm   Association   of   Australia   at   their   Federal   Council   Meeting   in   October, 2009   in   recognition   of   his   work.   However,   sadly,   Windy   was   not   well   enough   to   personally   accept   the   award.   Windy   had   a   wealth of knowledge on Naval Aviation matters and was a friend to many! A   memorial   service   for   Windy   was   conducted   at   the   Fleet   Air   Arm   Museum   on   Wednesday,   9th   December,   2009   followed   by   a private burial service at the Cambewarra Cemetery.
Windy Geale To Be Farewelled Today December 9, 2009 Article in The South Coast Register (Australia) FLEET   Air   Arm   historian   and   Navy   legend   Bob   ‘Windy’   Geale   will   be   officially   farewelled   at   11am   today   at   a   funeral   service held, most appropriately, at the Fleet Air Arm Museum. The   much   loved   and   respected   man,   who   passed   away   on Sunday,   was   well-known   for   his   remarkable   service   to   three navies   over   his   lifetime,   in   particular   his   voluntary   service   to the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Just    last    month,    on    November    13,    at    the    HMAS   Albatross Ceremonial   Divisions   Windy   was   recognised   for   his   past   efforts and      presented      with      a      Commander      Fleet      Air      Arm Commendation   by   the   Reviewing   Officer,   RADM   Neil   Ralph   AO DSC RAN (Rtd). Commodore   Tony   Dalton   CSC,   RAN   commended   Windy’s   “tireless   and   exemplary   performance   in   his   role   as   the   Honorary Historian to the Fleet Air Arm Museum between 1985 and 2009”. Windy’s   forethought   and   diligence   meant   that   invaluable   research   material   remained   available   for   historians,   individuals   and institutions seeking detailed information about the history of the Fleet Air Arm. As a result, future generations of Australians will more fully understand the role of the Fleet Air Arm’s service to the nation. Born   Robert   Edward   Norman   Geale   in   Ontario   on   March   19,   1925,   Windy   went   on   to   forge   a   considerable   and   significant   navy career. He   began   as   a   young   Canadian   Naval Airman   2nd   Class,   who   joined   the   Royal   Navy   Volunteer   Reserve   and   graduated   in   1944   from Number   59   Royal   Navy   Telegraph/Air   Gunners’   Course   at   HMS   St   Vincent   [He   also   spent   time   training   in   Yarmouth,   Nova   Scotia   in Canada]. He   flew   the   Fairey   Barracuda   torpedo-bomber   from   the   carrier   HMS   Formidable   in   1946   and   over   the   next   four   years   he   also   flew the   Firefly   and   the   Mosquito,   serving   in   Ceylon   (now   Sri   Lanka)   and   Northern   Ireland   and   flying   from   the   Royal   Navy   carriers Colossus, Triumph and Victorious. He   transferred   to   the   Royal   Canadian   Navy   in   1950   and   opened   the   second   chapter   of   his   flying   career,   qualifying   as   an   observer and being promoted through to Lieutenant Commander. The   Royal   Canadian   Navy   carriers   HMCS   Magnificent   and   HMCS   Bonaventure   were   two   of   Windy’s   ships,   as   was   HMCS   Terra   Nova for his Bridge Watchkeeping training upon being commissioned. The   final   chapter   in   Windy’s   flying   career   was   written   here   in Australia   after   he   joined   the   Navy   as   a Tracker Tactical   Coordinator in 1969. He   went   on   to   be   the   Senior   Observer   on   both   851   and   816   Squadrons   (HMAS   Melbourne   II)   and   in   1978   served   as   the Commanding Officer of 851 Squadron. He   retired   in   1985   after   nearly   43   years   continuous   service   in   three   navies,   only   to   commence   his   voluntary   role   with   the   Fleet Air Arm Museum with barely a break in service. Windy Geale was held in the highest regard by everyone with whom he was associated and his reputation remains without peer. The original article is from the South Coast Register at: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/news/local/news/general/windy-geale-to-be-farewelled today/1699909.aspx?storypage=1
RADM Neil Ralph, AO DSC RAN (Rtd) & Windy Geale
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