Air Force World War II veteran Sergeant Felix Sainsbury (retd) celebrated his 100th birthday on May 14. 

The former aircraft armaments technician is one of the last surviving No. 3 Squadron members who fought in World War II. 

Through his detailed journal, Sergeant Sainsbury played an important role in documenting the trials and tribulations faced by RAAF ground crew on campaigns in the Middle East, Africa and Italy in the 1940s.

His writing has given future generations an understanding of the camaraderie and mateship demonstrated by personnel through the difficult desert warfare conditions. 

To mark the milestone, No. 3 Squadron Commanding Officer Wing Commander Darren Clare joined by four previous No. 3 Squadron Commanding Officer’s made a video call to Sergeant Sainsbury. 

Wing Commander Clare said although it was disappointing to not be able celebrate in person, the number of people who had gone out of their way to be part of Sergeant Sainsbury’s big celebration was a testament to the life of mateship he lived.

“We are lucky to have the technology to keep us connected in a time where we are unable to be there in person,” Wing Commander Clare said. 

“Sergeant Sainsbury represents everything that has made No. 3 Squadron a great place to work over the history of the squadron. Mateship and camaraderie have played a key role in his life and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of it. 

“It’s always great to catch up and I look forward to sharing a beer with him when the situation allows.”  

As part of the celebration, Wing Commander Clare arranged for Felix’s name to be painted on the side of one of the F-35s from No. 3 Squadron.