Julius Lockington “Judy” Patching, AO, OBE (4 January 1917 – 13 February 2009) was a photographic enthusiast and Warbirds Online has been privileged to be allowed access to his pre War photographic album whilst he was serving aboard the RAN Cruiser HMAS Canberra. These photographs are excellent, in that they depict a facet of Australian Maritime Aviation seldom seen, in particular the role of Flying boats and Float planes in the pre WW11 RAN.
We are very much indebted to Bruce Patching, Julius’s son for allowing us to publish these rare photos today. Bruce is also a committed volunteer working on the restoration of DAP Beaufort A9-141, so a love of historic aviation obviously runs in the family.
Patching was a well-known identity in the Australian sporting world including Secretary General of the Australian Olympic Committee from 1973–1985 and in a lot of ways laid the ground for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He was widely regarded and admired for his sporting and Sports administration achievements. He received many awards and much recognition including an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 and his being made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1985.
What is less well known was his outstanding military service in the Royal Australian Navy. Patching joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1934 and served for 13 years, including World War II. By 1939 he was a Petty Officer (age 22) which was pretty rare in those pre-war years.
The photos in Julius’s collection also include some visiting UK military and civil aircraft and Warbirds Online presents them for your enjoyment.
Should you have a spare hour we provide this fascinating video on Australian Flying Boats of this era.
© John Parker 2015