Rikki McMenemy – Marketing Assistant at Pacific Coast Shopping Centres holding a photo of her Grandfather: Ronald Alfred Mealey, WWII.
Ronald Alfred Mealey (service number 436130) was enlisted into the army on the 10th June 1942 in Sydney NSW at the age of 18 where he served for just over a year. However his dream was to become a pilot in the Airforce. He joined the Airforce at the age of 19 and served as a leading aircraft man for 317/318 radar station, based in the South West Pacific region including mainland Australia.
The secrecy that enshrouded the radar and activities of the radar stations by the official Secrets Act denied the radar personnel the opportunity to express their pride, and discuss the challenges and hardships they faced. Ronald Mealey faced this challenge daily as he could not share his location and stories with his family even when he returned after the war. He could not disclose any information with his loved ones. Ronald and other service men & women forged the network for the RAAE radar stations into effective fighting units. In doing so they contributed significantly towards the defence of Australia at a time when the outcome of the war looked exceedingly bleak. Many lives were saved by the RAAF radar stations. Ronald Mealey was discharged on the 16th October 1945.