Flying boots : Lieutenant P J Kimlin, HMAS Kanimbla

Accession Number REL31866
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Cotton, Leather, Rubber, Steel
Maker Biltrite
Place made United States of America
Date made c 2000s
Conflict Iraq, 2003-2013

Pair of black leather flying boots without toecaps. The boots extend above the ankle, and are lined with cream coloured leather. Each boot has a single pair of aluminium eyelets and six pairs of riveted steel loops to retain the black cotton laces. At the top of the ankle support section is a fold-over flap secured by strips of Velcro. The stitched-on soles are of black moulded rubber with an impressed zigzag pattern to provide grip.

History / Summary

Pair of black leather flying boots worn by Lieutenant P J Kimlin RAN whilst on active service in the Persian Gulf. Paul John Kimlin was born in Canberra in 1976, and joined the Royal Australian Navy as a direct entry pilot trainee in 1996. After completing his fixed-wing training as part of 175 Pilot Course, he went on to graduate from the Australian Defence Force Helicopter School in Canberra. He served with 723 Squadron, flying the Aerospatiale AS 350B Squirrel, before joining 817 Squadron, which operates Westland Sea Kings. From September 2000 to April 2001, Kimlin served with the United Nations in East Timor, and during 2003 he was embarked on HMAS Kanimbla for service in the Persian Gulf as second pilot of the attached Sea King helicopter N16-118, callsign 'Shark 07'. During the month of March 2003, this helicopter and crew set a squadron record by flying 126.4 hours, and also became the first RAN aircraft to land in Iraq following the commencement of hostilities. He returned to Australia in July 2003. After the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami off the Indonesian province of Aceh, HMAS Kanimbla, with its embarked helicopters, spent three months providing humanitarian relief. The ship was on its way home to Australia after this deployment when it was diverted to the provide further humanitarian aid to the Indonesian island of Nias, which had been hit by another earthquake. Paul Kimlin, piloting Kanimbla's Sea King Helicopter 'Shark 02' was killed, together with another eight of the eleven RAN and RAAF personnel on the aircraft, when it crashed on Nias due to mechanical failure on 2 April 2005.