Vale, William (Bill) James Strachan Linden (R46077), late of Bomaderry, passed away peacefully at Berry Hospital at sunset on Saturday 26 November 2022, aged 88.
Bill was born to Ernie and Margaret Sincocks on the 5th of September 1934 in Brighton Lea Sands, NSW and left school at 14 to commence an apprenticeship as a pastry cook. After realising baking pastries wasn’t quite the adventure, he joined the Navy on his 17th birthday 1951 at HMAS CERBERUS.
Bill qualified as a Naval Airman (I) Aircraft Handler (III) at HMAS ALBATROSS in March 1952, serving primarily in 817 Squadron (Fireflies). He deployed with the Squadron in HMA Ships GLORY, VENGEANCE and SYDNEY. He also spent a year stationed at HMAS TARANGAU 1956-57 for which he received the Australian Service Medal with Clasp PNG.
He had a colourful enlistment, having the distinction (with plausible deniability) of test flying (or runway hopping) Seafires at ALBATROSS and losing a water tender off a cliff at TARANGAU, only to find a WWII aircraft in the jungle but not the tender. He also represented the Navy in boxing.
Bill left the Navy in 1958 settling in Mosman, NSW and raising two sons, Mark and Dean, where he had a varied career as a general manager, hotel manager and boat builder. Bill found his love Kate, was married in 1979 and retired to Bomaderry in 2002.
He enjoyed a beer, loved fishing and he could spin a yarn. He loved his family and always loved the Navy. His many stories inspired his son Mark to follow him into the Navy where he still serves. He also stayed in contact with his Navy family through the RSL (Seaforth and Bomaderry Sub-Branches) and the Fleet Air Arm Association, and he kept in touch with his lifelong mate Robbie Frearson, another aircraft handler, until Robbie’s recent passing.
In keeping with his wishes, Bill will be remembered at a private service and his ashes scattered at sea. He is survived by his wife Kate, his sons Mark and Dean, his grandchildren, Ben, Amy, Emma, Sienna, Jake and Max and his great grandson, Lucas.