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Photographs supplied by Richard Rudd

The park commemorates Rex Budd who was a pioneer of helicopter cattle mustering industry.

Rex was called up for National Service and served with the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.)  2 Air Trials Unit (Meteor); 2 Fighter Operational Conversion Unit; 3, 76, 79 Fighter Squadrons (Vampire and Sabre) and 5 and 9 Squadrons (Iroquois and ‘Bushranger’ gunships).  He served 2 operational tours in Vietnam with 9 Squadron between 1968 and 1970.  He was the first RAAF pilot to log 1000 hours in Vietnam and the 3rd of 5 gunship flight commanders.

On his discharge from the Royal Australian Air Force he started his own helicopter mustering business based in Mareeba and became one of the pioneers of helicopter mustering. 




Address:Vicary Road, Mareeba Airfield, Rex Budd Memorial Park, Mareeba, 4880
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -17.070278
Long: 145.433056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 19th December, 2015
Front Inscription

Rex Budd Memorial Park

Plaque :
Rex Budd Memorial Park

This park is held in honour of Australian war hero and aerial mustering pioneer Rex Budd.  The hangar adjacent was built by Rex and the grounds established due to his interest in gardening.

Flight Lieutenant Rex Robert Budd DFC was born in Murwillumbah on September 5th, 1935 and died on 4th November 2010.  He was educated in Murwillumbah and at the Armidale School in NSW.  After completion he worked as a jackeroo for some time and was in partnership with his brother, Arthur on the family property "Horses Head", before being called up for national service.

Rex was accepted into the air force and graduated as Dux of his flying course.  He went on to fly trials in Meteors, Vampires and Sabre aircraft. Whilst in Vietnam Rex made his mark flying helicopters in the 9th Squadron over two tours (625 days served concurrently).  He was the first pilot to reach one thousand flying hours and he was the third of five Bushranger gunship flight commanders.

Rex was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his superior leadership, courage and devotion, notably lifting SAS out of the jungle at night whilst under fire. On return to Australia Rex established Rex Budd Helicopters and with his love of the land soon found a way to use these machines.

As the cattle industry was in the grips of recession, Rex started mustering cattle using helicopters. Graziers found it a more economical way to put cattle together and he consequently was one of the pioneers of the helicopter mustering industry.

Wrotham Park Station became a trial ground, and being an astute person he soon learnt it was easier to teach a stockman to fly than it was a pilot to work cattle. He was a generous person that gave many of our industry greats their first start.  Rex was also noted as the first pilot in Australia to be able to issue mustering endorsements. In addition, he was also noted for importing the Hughes 269 Piston Helicopter.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au