Friday, November 17, 2017

Westall, the Department of Supply and Mr 'X' - a short part two

Background

In a previous post I discussed what we know of a tantilising story from the son and daughter of a high official in the former Australian Department of Supply, in relation to his knowledge of the 6 April 1966 Westall incident.

New material

Over my years of searching government archive material held by such agencies as the National Archives of Australia (NAA) and the National Library of Australia (NLA) I have learnt that these organisations are constantly making new material available. I thought it would be worth my while, spending some time, doing yet another search for any further material on Mr 'X.' This search proved to be very fruitful.

I now have found new material which:

1. Provides his University results from the years 1930-1934, when he attended University in Sydney and completed both a Bachelor's degree in Engineering (1st class honours) and a Bachelor of Science degree (2nd class honours.)

2. Gives a photograph of him in 1935. In order to ascertain whether or not anyone could deduce the identity of Mr X from this photograph, I used a number of web based reverse image sites to check if it is possible to determine the source of this image and thus reveal his identity. I was unable to find Mr X's real name from this image, and this is why I provide the photograph here. If you use "copy image address" you will only get "Capture_Photo_1935.JPG."



3. Advises that he was appointed as an Engineer in the Postmaster General's Department in 1937.

4. Shows that he moved to the Department of Civil Aviation in 1946, and became a Senior Airways Engineer.

All of this is consistent with the account of his career as conveyed in 2010 by his daughter.

5. I have also found some leads concerning positions within the general area of what became the Aircraft, Guided Weapons and Electronics area of the Department of Supply in 1967. In 1963 it appears to have been titled Aircraft and Guided Weapons Supply Branch, Department of Supply. Unfortunately, the archive material for this era, is currently not yet available. I have submitted a request to be advised when this material becomes publicly available. Hopefully, this will confirm the position within the Department of Supply which Mr X held on 6 April 1966.

I wish to thank my Sydney research associate, who wishes to remain anonymous, for giving me the idea to look in a particular part of the Australian government archives, where I located this new information.

If, perchance, Mr X's daughter or son reads this, I would appreciate if they would get in direct contact with me at keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au.

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