Ronald Charles CLAYTON, known as Ron, was interviewed by Margaret Tickle for the Busselton Oral History Group (Inc) in July 2014. It is one in a series of recorded interviews funded by Lotterywest to celebrate the Anzac Centenary.
Ron was born on 19th January 1947, the eldest of four children of Charlie and Jean Clayton. His keen interest in and aptitude for radio was enough for him to pass selection for the RAAF when he was sixteen. He was streamed to a radio technician’s apprenticeship at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, which he successfully completed in two and a half years.
Ron details his experiences for one year during the Vietnam War and the progression of his service record over time. It also touches on his family’s background as early settlers in the South West of Western Australia.
Ron’s service for the RAAF was one of steady advancement and included two ventures to America to be trained in new technologies associated with the rapidly-increasing sophistication of radar, communications and electronics – in particular in the F-111 and F/A -18 aircraft.
His family went with him on the second occasion, for three years then they went to live in Busselton when he retired.
The Clayton family had squash courts built many years before, and Ron managed those for fifteen years comprising long days, seven days a week, until he sold them in 1999.
He has had a satisfying career and a life enriched by music, having been a band member in various bands, playing guitar mainly and banjo, and also enjoys doing vocals as required.