Leut. (P) Rob Waites RAN (Ret’d) passed away on Monday 26th December 2022 from kidney failure.
Rob joined the RAN around 1952 and after the usual lead-up training joined and graduated on RAAF Number 9 Pilots’ Course.
After obtaining his wings on Wirraways at RAAF Point Cook Rob along with Don Davidson, Geoff Litchfield converted to Sea Furies at Lossimouth in Scotland. His initial deck landings were done in a Seafire on the straight deck on Albion. He pranged the barrier on his first approach which wrote of the aircraft. He watched as the flight deck crew pushed the wreck over the side to clear the deck for aircraft still in the air.
On return to Australia he converted to the RAN’s new Sea Venoms and returned to the UK to complete his night fighter training with the RAF flying Meteor NF11 night fighters. On return to Australia he joined 808 Sea Venom then 805.
In 1962/3, along with others, he was offered early retirement due to uncertainty surrounding the future of fixed wing flying in the Navy. He joined QANTAS where he remained until retirement.
Post Qantas, he flew on contract with Air New Zealand ferrying pilgrims from Indonesia to Mecca, which he enjoyed.
He was a devoted husband to Marie for 64 years, and the much loved father of Melissa, Andrew and Alexander (Sandy); and grandfather to Sarah, Emma, Georgia, Maddie, Lucy and Bridget.
Rob requested that there would be no funeral but there will be a wake in the New Year. Details will be forwarded when available. In the meantime, his newspaper death notice encourages everyone to have a strong G&T in his honour.