Remembering Wg/Cdr Bill McFadden

Wg/Cdr Bill McFadden DFM, Legion d’Honneur a long time Member of the RACA, died on 11 June 2016 aged 96 after a short illness. 

In 1986, as Vice-President of the Imperial Service Club, he was part of the negotiation team which resulted in that Club being incorporated with the Royal Automobile Club of Australia. 

The present ISC Lounge on the fourth floor with its badges, medals and other memorabilia, reflects the memory of those men and women, past and present who gave Service to their country. 

At the start of World War II, Bill McFadden won his wings in Canada under the auspices of the Empire Air Training Scheme.  From there served as a pilot in Bomber Command in England and the Middle East. 

Sgt/Pilot McFadden was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal with immediate effect, when on a night reconnaissance mission flying out of Malta, he torpedoed an Italian vessel.

Together with his DFM, he was later awarded the Malta George Cross Fiftieth Anniversary Medal, and last year, the French Legion d’Honneur.  

He was wounded several times while on missions, but recovered sufficiently to serve in the RAAF Headquarters in London as a Liaison Officer in Flying Training Command and then Coastal Command. 

On D-Day, he happened to be in Warsash, a coastal village on the south of England and when later in 1976, he founded a company, he called it Warsash. 

Now Warsash Scientific Pty Ltd, he pioneered the introduction of many emerging photonics industries to Australian research and industry. 

He was an early supporter of Australian scientific communities and built strong relationships with the CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Physics, the Macquarie University Centre for Lasers and Applications, and the UNSW photovoltaic research community among others.

Warsash Scientific Pty Ltd currently represents some fifty overseas companies who produce state-of-the-art scientific products.  A number of them are considered not only business associates, but old friends. 

A book detailing Bill’s wartime experiences, The Stars were Aligned is scheduled to be launched later this year. 


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