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Last Updated: Tue Mar 25 16:07:05 UTC 2014

Air Marshal J.W. Newham AC RAAF (Retd)

Air Marshal Newham was born and educated at Cowra NSW. He joined the RAAF in 1951, graduated as a pilot in 1952 and was commissioned in 1953 whilst serving with No.77 Squadron in Korea.

AM Newham served with several fighter squadrons in Australia, Korea, Malta, and Malaysia, as a flying instructor at the then RAAF College and No.1 Basic Flying Training School, and Chief Flying Instructor at the Fighter Operational Training Unit. He commanded the Western Australia University Squadron, No.3 Fighter Squadron on its re-equipment with Mirage IIIO aircraft, the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), No.82 Strike Wing on its re-equipment with F-111C aircraft, and RAAF Base Laverton.

His staff appointments included: Director of Personnel Services in 1971, Staff Officer Operations and Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Operational Command 1975-77, and Director-General Operational Requirements at Air Force Office in 1979. In 1980 he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and appointed Chief of Air Force Operations and Plans, followed by a tour as Head of the Australian Defence Staff Washington, DC, 1982-84.

AM Newham qualified as a flying instructor and a fighter combat instructor. He attended the RAAF Staff College in 1964 and the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1978. He has flown a wide range of jet fighters, the Canberra and F-111, and several helicopters.  In 1984 he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia and elevated to Companion in 1986.

After serving as Deputy Chief of the Air Staff February, 1984 to March, 1985 he was appointed Chief of the Air Staff. He retired from the RAAF in July, 1987 into several part-time activities. He held directorships of two companies and the position of National President of the Ryder-Cheshire Foundations in Australia 1990-2002.

In 1953, as a young NCO pilot, and later Pilot Officer in 77 SQN, AIRMSHL Newham flew combat sorties in Korea in the Gloster Meteor F.8 fighter. During this period 77 SQN lost thirty eight aircrew to enemy action. Depicted is the former RAF Meteor F.8 VZ467 / VH-MBX of the Temora Aviation Museum in the colours of A77-851 / WK683 “Halestorm”, flown by Sgt George Hale of 77 SQN in Korea. A77-851 was credited with a MiG-15 Fagot kill.

The Meteor F.8 was flown in Korea mostly without the external fuel tanks, as these reduced performance with a typical payload of sixteen 60 lb unguided rockets. Depicted 77 SQN aircraft deployed in Korea (via AIRMSHL J.W. Newham AC, RAAF (Retd)).

In 1967, AIRMSHL Newham, then a Wing Commander, served as Commanding Officer 3 SQN on the then introduced Mirage IIIO interceptor (via AIRMSHL J.W. Newham AC, RAAF (Retd)).

In 1973, AIRMSHL Newham, then a Group Captain, served as Officer Commanding  82 WG on the newly delivered F-111C strike aircraft. GPCAPT Newham led the first of the four ferry flights, each of six F-111C aircraft from McClellan AFB in California to RAAF Amberley in Queensland, in June 1973. Cockpit photo shows GPCAPT Newham and then WGCDR, and later AIRCDRE Trevor Owen, seated in an F-111C. Below, A8-125 arriving at RAAF Amberley (via AIRMSHL J.W. Newham AC, RAAF (Retd)).

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