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LAC Frank Angelini 83619

The young Frank during his service years
Squadron/s457 SQN
Rank On Discharge/Death Leading Aircraftsman (LAC)
Mustering / SpecialisationFlight Rigger
Date of Birth30 Jul 1925
Date of Enlistment14 Aug 1943
Contributing Author/sFrank Angelini (himself)
Steve McGregor, Spitfire association

Frank was born on the 30th July, 1925 in Boulder City, West Australia. This is his brief story received in July 2012.

Thank You for the Certificate of Membership of the Spitfire Association, I have already framed it and now doing the same with the 457 Squadron's Emblem. At present I have been diagnosed with Mesathelioma but luckily I am not receiving chemotherapy but feeling really well in myself, so future predictions would be better left unsaid, except my memory and mobility is fading.

I started my Air Force career on the 14 th August 1943 and first held my examination at the Perth Technical School to determine which category I would best be suited for which was as a flight rigger and to be further trained at the Engineering School in Flemington, Melbourne. I topped this class and was then transferred to Pearce Western Australia and served mainly on Vulti Vengenances and did some drogue towing.

In early 1945 I was sent to St Ives to do a toughening up course prior to going overseas. I left Brisbane in a troop ship bound for MORATA1 in the Pacific and served with No 1. Repair and Salvage Unit for a time and then was posted to LABUAN travelling by troopship still serving with Repair and Salvage Unit.

Later in the year if my memory serves me well, I think about August 1945, I was transferred to 457 Squadron as a flight rigger. The squadron was equipped with Spitfires but later was winding down towards war's end. The Squadron was wound up in December 1945. The other members and I lived in tents and for washing our clothes we used a CHOOFER for hot water, the choofer was left by previous members and shower facilities were provided separately and also left by previous members. We were advised that we could go to Japan if we desired; but I did not want to go there so I was transferred back to No. 1 Repair and Salvage unit pending, waiting to be transported back to Australia. (Editor’s Note: The Choofer and shower was built by Robert G. Beath, see his Biography on the Spitfire Association web site.)

Later while waiting in a tent, early one morning I was summoned to board a Catalina plane with eighteen others to take us to Perth. This plane looked to have seen better days and we understood that it was to be scrapped afterwards but we took little notice of this as we were anxious to get home.

This appears to be borne out by the pilot flying direct to Sydney from Darwin, during a stopover in Darwin without the pilot notifying his passengers, we were unaware of this and after several days we approached transport and obtained a birth on a Liberator plane which took us to Perth Airport and just in time for us to be home for Xmas, which was a great relief.

I was subsequently discharged from the R.A.A.F. on 31st January, 1946. I left Boulder where I was born, with my family in 1954 and accepted a position in Merredin W.A. and after 2 years I accepted a position in Bunbury for another two years and finally I accepted a position with the Perth City Council and worked there for 25 years before retiring in 1984.

During this time we moved house about seven times and somewhere during this period it seems many photos were lost.

We reckon he needed that hat up at Labuan

A picture of Bob Beath under that shower.

The conditions are rough as described by Frank Angelini. They lived under canvas but still had a shower to help combat the humidity and sticky climate.

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Frank served.

We do our very best to make sure the information in the stories we share is correct. These stories are maintained to show our respect for the pilots, ground crew, design engineers and all who were involved with the Spitfire. In many cases, the information has been collected from the personal interactions between our members and the pilots and crew featured, and on many occasions, this process happened much later in the veterans' lives. If you believe anything on our site is not historically accurate, we welcome the additional stories, records and photos needed to help us correct the record. We thank you for your understanding.