Aviation’s Backbone: The Aircraft Engine Fitter, Warwick Teesdale

Warwick grew up in Whangarei, New Zealand, with his five brothers and sisters. As kids they spent holidays in beautiful Paeroa. “I remember catching fish from the river; it was so lovely there,” Warwick recalls fondly. “We then moved to Albany while dad looked after farms when the owner’s went on holiday.” Later, they settled in Northcote, and this is where Warwick spent most of his time growing up.

At 15 and a half, Warwick entered cadet school, before training as an engine mechanic. He joined the Air Force and served three years in Singapore. “I was part of the 41 Squadron during the Vietnam War, flying supplies into Vietnam, as well as the Philippines and Borneo,” he shared. As an engine fitter, Warwick worked on every kind of aircraft. “I was a Sergeant in charge of 30 people. We were working on the C-130 Hercules, which took three months to fully service,” he recalled.

While in Singapore, Warwick met and married his first wife. They met in the bar where she worked and slowly got to know each other before falling in love. She had five children, which Warwick accepted as his own and took the whole family back to New Zealand, where they had two more children. “We had seven kids all up, but unfortunately, it didn’t last,” he said.

Reflecting on his journey, Warwick appreciated the adventures and challenges that marked his life. He fondly remembered his 13 years spent in the Air Force and experiencing different parts of the world. Despite the ups and downs, Warwick’s resilience and adaptability carried him through.

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