Air Force World War II veteran Sergeant Felix Sainsbury (retired) celebrated his 100th birthday on May 14 and his old unit marked his big day.
CAPTION: Commander Air Combat Group Air Commodore Tim Alsop and Commanding Officer No. 3 Squadron Wing Commander Darren Clare show off the front of Joint Strike Fighter A35-010, temporarily rebranded in celebration of Felix Sainsbury’s 100th birthday.
The former aircraft armaments technician is one of the last surviving No. 3 Squadron members who fought in World War II and, through his detailed journals, Sergeant Sainsbury played an important role in documenting the trials and tribulations faced by RAAF ground crew on campaigns in the Middle East, Africa and Italy in the 1940s.
His writing continues to give future generations an understanding of the camaraderie and mateship experienced by personnel through the difficult desert-warfare conditions.
To mark Mr Sainsbury’s milestone birthday, No. 3 Squadron Commanding Officer Wing Commander Darren Clare, joined by four previous No. 3 Squadron Commanding Officers, made a video call to the centenarian.
Wing Commander Clare said it was disappointing to not be able celebrate in person, but, the number of people who had gone out of their way to be part of Sergeant Sainsbury’s big celebration was a testament to the life of mateship he lived.
“We are lucky to have the technology to keep us connected in a time where we are unable to be there in person,” Wing Commander Clare said.
“Sergeant Sainsbury represents everything that has made No. 3 Squadron a great place to work over the history of the squadron.
“Mateship and camaraderie have played a key role in his life and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of it.
“It’s always great to catch up and I look forward to sharing a beer with him when the situation allows.”
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