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Christian brother pays tribute to fallen airman

Paul Pardoel, the Australian-born air force navigator killed in Iraq early on Monday, was an unforgettable student who would be sadly missed, according to his housemaster at St Patrick's College Ballarat, Br Brian Davis.

The Sydney Morning Herald/AAP reports that 35 year old Victorian RAF Flight Lieutenant was on board a British Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft that crashed north-west of Baghdad, killing 10 people.

Br Davis was Mr Pardoel's boarding school house master in 1987.

"I saw the article (about the accident) in the paper today and I didn't read it, but when I heard the name Paul Pardoel on the radio, I raced back to the paper and read it and thought, 'Oh, no'," Br Davis said. "I hadn't seen him but when I found out it didn't matter because all those memories came flooding from those days.

"He was one of those guys you could never forget."

Br Davis was house master when Mr Pardoel became a boarding student, keen to improve his marks and ensure a place in the Australian Defence Force Academy to become a navigator.

"He was always keen to fly but never wanted to be a pilot," Br Davis said. "You would think that the real romance was in flying but, no, Paul was happy to be part of the team."

"He was fun-loving and adventurous," Br Davis said. "To be a Victorian on a rugby union team, you had to go out on a limb a little bit.

Killed airman unforgettable: teacher (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 2/1/05)

St Patrick's College, Ballarat

Australian RAF navigator feared death (Sydney Morning Herald 2/1/05)
War widow grieves at airman's death (Sydney Morning Herald 1/2/05)
Iraq: The Vote of Confidence (Aid to the Church in Need 1/2/05)
We are no longer afraid after the elections, says Mosul priest ( 1/2/05)
Parish leader says only God and faith will bring our troops home (Samoa News)
Iraqi church officials laud country's election (Catholic News Service 31/1/05)
Iraqi bishops delighted with voter turnout (Catholic World News/AsiaNews 31/1/05)

2 Feb 2005