© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

454 Magazine - Nomad

Issued - March 1944



I am very pleased to welcome the issue of our Squadron magazine.  It arrives under a new name, and much water has flowed under Sydney Harbour Bridge since it's appearance.  Since that time too, we have accomplished a great deal; and like the Arabs, folded our tents and moved away many times.  Here then, is a souvenir of those times.  I hope you like it.  (Only some stories have been included).



First and foremost "Nomad" is the Squadrons magazine reflecting the pleased smiles and quiet chuckles of its Squadron members.  We hope this paper has achieved its main objective. Getting the paper out has not been easy, but we feel it is worth while passing on some ideas and sentiments of the boys to the folk at home.


Our team of story-writers, cartoonists and poets include all ranks from all sections of the Squadron, so we can truly say it reflects their thoughts, although they may be influenced by savouring of the sterile, arid and waterless environment.



Do you remember that recipe given by O. Henry? "There'll never be a perfect breakfast eaten". he wrote, "until some man grows arms long enough to stretch down to New Orleans for his coffee, and over to Norfolk for his rolls, and reaches up to Vermont and digs a slice of butter out of a spring house, and then turns over a beehive close to a white clover patch in Indiana for the rest, then he'd come pretty close to making a meal on the ambrosia that the Gods eat on Mount Olympia". We might add a couple of new-laid Aussie eggs and a rasher or two of English pre-war streaky bacon.  That almost unforgotten luxury, kippers, shouldn't be forgotten either.  And now if you'll get your irons and line up, snags, beans and hash will be up immediately.



Hair to our shoulders, beards to our knees,

Bully and biscuits, over-ripe cheese,

Water that's salty - and slimy too,

Grit in the saucepan, sand in the stew,

Miles we have traveled, months we have spent,

Prowling the desert, weary and bent,

Stop here today, push on tomorrow,

We've nothing to spend, hang-all to borrow,

Once we turned round and said "Thank God at last",

But we turned round again, and went back twice as fast,

Arrived at Map Ref. Tee-Emas a bell -,

Six chaps were missing - the cook-house as well,

Tomorrow is Easter, how happy we'll be -,

No beer, no fags, we shan't half have a spree,

But ours is no hardship compared with the blokes,

Camping in Blighty away from their folks,

Why! even J. Priestly complained of their trials,

Far from a pub - at least thirteen miles!,

So tomorrow  we'll pray for the boys back at home,

Away from their girls and all alone,

That's solved our great problem - we know what to do,


DESERT RAT (If anyone knows who  Desert Rat is please let me know, I think it's a great poem).




Cooking in the desert, we can bake or fry,

Capurtling round the trench fire, brewing up a shai,

Blowing up the boilers - blimy, what a bang!

You can judge the petrol once you've got the hang,

When the sand is blowing in your mouth and eyes,

Burma Road will have to do instead of Charlie's pies,

Up and down the Turley, in and out the tents;

We're lacking in equipment but we use our common sense.

De-hydrated vitamins, bags of bully stew,

Boil the lot together - what a lovely brew!

Late chits and early chits, mongered for wogs,

Keeping down the fly pest - chasing off the dogs,

Here's the Orderly Officer - "Any complaints today?".

"We cave their chests in here Sir, if they have too much to say",

Killer's in his toupee, Charlie does his turn,

We've lost Tich Hampson in the stew - Finder please return.

"Smasher, Tub , Taffy and Peachie" work like ten,

"How many? Six - How many Four We'll say they work like men".

Tommy is our flying cook and works while on his flips,

He takes the spuds to 1000 feet and brings them down as chips,

A tribute to the G.D's who work behind the scene,

They boil the water, cut the bread and keep the dishes clean,

And when they're on they're black and when they're off they're white,

You can see the colour at its best on a get-together night.


I hope all you 454 boys get a kick out of a couple of excerpts from The Nomad.