Obituary: Piloted long and happy life

Geraldton Guardian
Frank Sharp
Camera IconFrank Sharp Credit: Supplied


Frank Sharp, Pilot

Born: Subiaco 1925

Died: Geraldton, January 2019

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Frank Sharp was a distinguished pilot, remembered by his loved ones as “one of nature’s gentlemen”.

A Geraldton resident since 1978, he was born in King Edward Memorial Hospital, Subiaco, on May 24, 1925.

As a young man, Mr Sharp attended Midland State School and completed an apprenticeship at the Midland Railway Workshops, where he qualified as a carpenter.

In July 1943, aged 18, he enlisted in the RAAF as trainee aircrew.

After being posted to Cunderdin for initial flight training, he was sent to Canada with the Empire Air Training Scheme. He graduated from Calgary in 1945.

Mr Sharp again served with the RAAF from 1950 to 1956.

During that time he broke an aviation record, flying a Canberra jet bomber from Perth to Brisbane in just over three hours and 40 minutes — 20 minutes faster than the previous record.

After being discharged from the RAAF with a flight-lieutenant ranking in 1957, Mr Sharp served 13 years with the Royal Air Force in South-East Asia.

His service saw him fly out of Tengah Air Base in Singapore during the Malayan Emergency.

In 1965, Mr Sharp married the love of his life, Gillian, in Wiltshire, England.

When he took a local discharge in Singapore, the couple remained in South East Asia.

During that time Mr Sharp ferried the first Singapore-registered aircraft to fly over the Pacific Ocean from the US to Singapore, flying solo in a Piper Twin Comanche.

From 1971 to 1973, he was chief flying instructor at the Singapore Flying Club.

He also flew for the United Nations, going to Bangladesh and the Egyptian city of Ismailia.

Over the years he flew many aircraft, including Lincolns, Vampires, Meteors, Tiger Moths, Oxford Trainers, Chipmunks, Cessna 337s, Winjeels, Cranes and Ansons.

From 1978, Mr Sharp flew with Geraldton Air Charter until his retirement in 1993.

A dedicated RSL member for many years, in 1998 he was awarded life membership with the Geraldton Sub Branch.

Mr Sharp passed away on Wednesday, January 9, aged 93. His funeral was held in Geraldton on January 17. He is survived by wife Gillian; daughters Dianne, Louise and Alison; grandchildren Paul, Samantha and Kimberley; and great-grandchildren Elvie and Griffin.

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