LAC Cedric Arthur Askew 433707

Squadron/s110 MFCU
Rank On Discharge/Death Leading Aircraftsman (LAC)
Mustering / SpecialisationWireless Telegraphist
Date of Birth24 Dec 1924
Date of Enlistment08 May 1943
Contributing Author/sRay Hart and Steve McGregor
The Spitfire Association

Sid was born on the 9/12/24 in Auckland NZ,

He enlisted on the 8/5/43; He was working as a W/T, Wireless Telegraphist, during the War.

He served with Unit 110 MFCU (Mobile Fighter Control Unit) in Darwin, Morotai and Balikpapan. Support Unit of No 1 Spitfire Fighter Wing, Darwin comprising 452, 457, 54 Squadrons and 60 OBU (Operational Base Unit) and 7 RSU (Repair & Salvage Unit). In addition, as a support unit for No 80 Spitfire Fighter Wing in Morotai and Balikpapan. This wing was comprised of 452,457 and 79 Squadrons and 60 OBU, 9 RSU and 110 MFCU.

The Unit was known as 110 Mobil Fighter Control Unit Assault Echelon for the landing at Balikpapan on the 1 st July with the 7th Division AIF.

Sid was a very good Wireless and Telegraphist and always operated according to the correct procedures, not like the majority of W/T’s who took short cuts and did not have full details of the work on watch in the Log Book.

Jim “McGinty” McNeill, our watch Sergeant, noticed this and said Sid was a “Cheese”, meaning he was a top operator.

Sid’s mate ray Hart said, “When we were in Balikpapan and Sid was on an evening watch 1700 hours to 2359 hours, George “Chorch” Hendrickson, who was back in Morotai radioed through at 2300 hours with “int Mac” meaning in W/T language, “Where is McGinty, put him on”.

Sid being a top operator that he was ignored this signal however Chorch kept repeating his request until Sid got fed up. Sid replied to Chorch’s peremptory signals with one word, “Bed”.

Unfortunately for Sid there was a monitor on the wave length at that very moment and Sid was charged with using unauthorised plain language.

Our Adjutant F/O Alexander Lax asked Sid whether he wanted his or the CO’s punishment and Sid said, I’ll take yours. This resulted in poor old Sid getting 7 days CB (Confined to Barracks) which was technically correct but a little silly considering the circumstances under which we were operating at that time.

You know, said Ray, This would have been the only blemish on Sid’s record against his name during the time he served with 110 MFCU”.

Sid was discharged from the RAAF on the 7/5/46.

For many years he was elected to the Executive Committee of the Spitfire Association. After the war he worked with Pan Am and he was often in one of the Pan Am Clippers spacious cockpit carrying on his duties as Radio Operator.

Pan Am Clipper

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