My grandfather Ronald Patterson joined the Air Force as a radio operator during World War 2.
During my childhood he told lots of stories about this time in his life. I think he felt it was important to tell his story as he had been legally bound to secrecy for 50 years following the war.
Leading Aircraftman Ron Patterson was a wireless intercept operator with No. 1 Wireless Unit.
His job was to intercept the Japanese Kana code from naval and military radio communications.
Deciphering these radio transmissions gave the Allies key intelligence, such as the movements of senior Japanese officers and impending aerial attacks.
Due to the high level of secrecy, my great grandparents never knew what my grandfather did during the War.
It was with fond memories that Granddad would reminisce on his time in the RAAF and this is what inspired me to join the Air Force.
In 2013 - when my grandparents were well into their 80s - they made the journey from my hometown in Bundaberg, Queensland, to RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia, to see me graduate from Pilots’ Course.
This was the first time my grandfather had been back on a RAAF base since he had discharged from the Air Force in 1945.
This seemed to spark a flurry of memories for him - particularly being in the Mess and seeing my graduation parade.
Although there is more than 60 years between our times serving in the Air Force, this shared history strengthened our already special bond.