Theo Burdoff passed away on the morning of Tuesday 19th December 2023 in in Nowra.  His health had been deteriorating slowly over the last ten years. He was 84.

Theo was born in Bandjermasin, the capital of Borneo (now Kalimantan), in the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) to Dutch parents on 16th June 1939 which was also the year that World War 2 started in Europe. During the ensuring war years Theo and family were interned in Japanese POW camps and amid the chaos and Indonesian upheaval after the war the family were evacuated by ship to Melbourne as Refugees.

Theo joined the RAN in January of 1957 and discharged in 1988 with the rank of CAPT, GLEX (O).

He served on 816 Squadron (flying Gannets) as his first operational posting, and then joined 724 Squadron, attached to RAAF Edinburgh and Woomera for Ikara flight trials in 61/63. Other postings included 816 Squadron (three times) flying Trackers and he was aboard HMAS Melbourne when the tragic collision with USS Frank E. Evans occurred in June of 1969.  He also did a spell as Commanding Officer 851 Squadron (Trackers), including detachments to Broome for surveillance duties.

After a period in Navy Office, Theo was posted to the RN Air Station at Portland, UK, in the position of Commander (Air Training).  Another job in Canberra followed before he took up the position of XO HMAS Albatross in 82/83. This was followed by promotion to Captain and working in Canberra to the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. 

He will be much missed by his beloved wife Kate, son Bill and step children Jo, Lindy and Martin.

Theo’s funeral service was held in Berry on 28 December 2023, attended principally by friends and associates from the church, and from the town.  

Appropriately, a lone S2G Tracker piloted by an ex-RAN FAA pilot carried out a flypast as the hearse carrying Theo left the church.  It was a fitting tribute to a fine officer and professional and highly respected member of the FAA.