(TOM) BOYD MOODIE
31 October 1916 - 14 February 2012
in Edinburgh, Scotland, his primary education was at Dalry Public school
where he was bright enough to be on accelerated learning and finished
primary school at age 10. He won a 500 pound bursary to the Royal High
School for 5 years. On completion, he won a scholarship to the university
in Arts. While successful in first year, he was not terribly enthused
and so joined the RAF in 1933. The RAF trained him as an armourer, then
fitter armourer, then airgunner in the dustbin turret of the Handley
Page Heyford biplane bomber.
In December 1935 he was posted to the NW Frontier, India, flying in
WW1 designs, DH9 and Bristol Fighter. From there to Mesopotamia in armoured
cars, and in 1937 back to the UK for the Coronation. Returning to Mesopotamia,
then Sudan, then hospital in Palestine, then Alexandria on Short Singapores.
This led to a flight to Singapore which was no sooner reached than the
Munich crisis caused a recall to Egypt and a posting to Mersa Matruh
on Hawker Harts.
In February 1939 his enlistment was up and he returned to civilian life
in Scotland in civil engineering. On the outbreak of WW2, Tom was dispatched
south by train to Hastings. Posted to an EFTS at Burnaston, he learnt
to fly on Miles Magisters, Avro Cadets and Tutors, Oxfords and Ansons.
From there to an AONS course at Prestwick where he qualified as a navigator
Operational posting to Driffield saw Tom flying in Whitleys over Europe
and involved him in a incident where he was burned clearing a flare
jammed in the flare chute of his aircraft. While recuperating he participated
in the rescue of Don Bennett from a Halifax involved in a takeoff collision.
Back on ops, he was part of the abortive search for the Gneisenau and
Prinz Eugen in the channel dash. Many raids in Europe followed until
in June 42 Tom was catapulted from a Halifax which came to a sudden
stop on a Scottish hillside. Suffering from relatively minor injuries,
he was, after recuperation, sent via an initial training wing to Canada
for a course in astro navigation. There was then a stint trying to teach
this skill to the USAAF. Returned by boat to the UK, he converted to
Mosquitos and was back on ops. with the Pathfinders as a marker until
the end of the war. This included marking for a raid on the heavy water
plant in Norway. His aircraft crashed and he was captured. Escaping
from a German hospital he fought with the resistance in Norway.
Post war, while still in the RAF, he was loaned to BOAC on Hythe flying
boats and also acted as trouble shooter around the middle east. After
demobilisation, Tom became committed to the world of civil engineering
and moved from project to project around the world. This included working
for Vic Rail and the Snowy Mountains Authority in Australia where he
met and married Betty. Then Taiwan, India, China, Korea, Bougainville,
He retired to Maleny and became involved with various causes and organisations.
This included QAM where he served for 12 months as President, being
deeply involved in efforts to expand the housing available for the collection.
QUEENSLAND AIR MUSEUM www.qam.com.au