Airborne Engineers Association

Roll of Honour



Jack Braithwaite, 9th March 1935 - 21st June 2021


Jack Braithwaite02

Jack was a man’s man - if you can say that now! He was intelligent, quick witted but also a very private man. He joined the Army in January 1954 leaving after 22 years’ service in June 1976 retiring as a WOII. During his service he spent 14 years with airborne forces travelling to many parts of the world.

He had 2 great passions in his life - the Army, specifically 9 Indep Para Sqn RE, and Amateur Radio. Jack obtained his Amateur Radio Licence in the 1950s and was still active up to his death. In 1964 he qualified as a Parachute Jumping Instructor.

He was one of the elite 600 parachutists who dropped into El Gamil on Operation Musketeer on 5th November 1956 to help secure the Suez Canal. The 3 Troop personnel held a commemoration dinner every 10 years, but as their numbers decreased this was later reduced to every 5 years. Jack assisted with the organisation of the final dinner at Aldershot in 2016.


Jack met and married his first wife Gaye in Aldershot where their daughter Wendy was later born. They were posted to 131 Para Engr Regt TA where he served as a SNCO Instructor with 300 Troop in Glasgow. Sadly Gaye lost her life to cancer in May 1966.

Posted to Gibraltar as a Quartermaster Sergeant he much enjoyed his time diving, fishing, cox in an Army whaling boat, amateur dramatics, and caving. Amateur Radio played a huge role in his life in Gibraltar under the call sign ZB2BC. It was in Gibraltar that he met Sally and they were married at Kings Chapel, Gibraltar on 6th April 1968. Sally was a WREN and had just completed 2 years’ service on the Rock. She then returned to spend a further 2 years, finally both leaving the Rock in 1970.

His later posting to Tidworth provided a settled period for the family before moving to Nienburg in 1972, as an SSM. The lads in the barrack block pinned up a list of the “Ten Commandments” relating to what Jack expected from them. On his departure from Germany they shaved off half his moustache, and his SSM’s stick was sawn in half!

His final posting was to 39 Engineer Regiment at Waterbeach, Cambridge.

He was a member of many amateur radio groups using his call sign G3PWK and had regular meetings with them on the air and on ZOOM. His knowledge of amateur radio was immense, which he was more than happy to pass on to others. He loved being a member of the Otley Radio Club and much enjoyed their Club meetings and outings in the field.

The family have received many tributes about Jack since his death, which they are deeply grateful for. He was called a true



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