Lt Col L.A. Power psc


Visiting US air delivery unit Vietnam


On the farm at Cashmere



Author: Les Power

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POWER Leslie Alexander

professional soldier and rouseabout  1932-2010

Les was born in Sydney into an Army family: his father Kevin a professional soldier – AASC driver of GS wagons then mechanical transport and tanks, subsequently a distinguished AIF Infantry officer awarded an immediate MC in New Guinea. Les’ grandfather, Colonel Alec Christie KStJ OBE MBE was also a professional soldier serving in the Australian Light Horse and Infantry before and during WW1, and in the AAMC/RAAMC in WW2 and after.

He attended a variety of NSW and Victorian primary schools before his family settled back in Sydney where he attended Sydney Technical High School. Following a period of short term jobs ranging from rabbit trapper, process worker and grease monkey to vehicle ferry driver, in 1949 he joined his father’s business as an interstate semi-trailer driver.

Les enlisted in the AASC CMF in 1948, exaggerating his age by a year to be accepted. Promoted Corporal in 1950, he transferred to the ARA Infantry in 1 RAR as Lcpl section 2ic; 1 Rec Trg Coy as Cpl Instructor; and 1 Rec Trg Bn as platoon sergeant. 1952 saw him at Ingleburn as platoon sergeant/instructor with B Coy 4RAR, the reinforcement training unit for Korea Force.

He attended the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1953 and on graduation into the Australian Staff Corps was allotted to RAASC and posted to 19 NS Bn, then the ARA cadre of his original CMF unit 2 Div Coln. Following a series of postings to supplies and transport units he was promoted Captain as Adjt 18 NS Bn Hobart.

The next posting as 2ic 15 Coy RAASC (AD) was precursor to training with the US Army in 1961 in aerial delivery procedures for the new Hercules, Iroquois and Caribou aircraft. On return he was Instructor Air Supply and Project Officer, Air Mov Trg Flt RAAF, in 1965 returning to the US for training with US AD R&D units and agencies. Then followed promotion to Major and command of the newly-formed AMTDU (Army Component) at Richmond.

He attended the Australian Staff College in 1968 and, after commanding 18 Tpt Coy, served as DADST HQ AFV, actively involved in dovetailing the Australian combat supplies and transport system into the US logistics system. After return to Australia on the logistics staff of HQ 1 MD, he was seconded in 1973 to the SEATO Exercise Planning Group. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1976 as Asst Comd 1 FF Gp (7 TF) Brisbane, and in 1977 became the first CO of the newly-formed 1 ATSR RACT at RAAF Richmond. In June 1977 he transferred to the Army Reserve in Brisbane until retirement in 1982 after 34 years service.

A foundation member of the Army Transport Association in Queensland, he has remained active in either committee or ex-officio matters in both the ATA and Air Dispatch Association. Les’ interests include maintaining a small property, fishing from his small tinnie in the nearby estuaries and seaside, and keeping up with old comrades and Associations through computer channels.

Les has been married to Patricia for fiftyseven years: they have two sons (both RACT ARES officers) and five grandchildren. They enjoyed a rural retirement environment in Pine Rivers Shire north of Brisbane; Les passed away in 2010.