Year 1972

Robinson's Department Store Fire

Tuesday, 21st November 1972

Robinson's Department Store at Raffles Place was destroyed by fire. The flames razed through the 114-year-old store. Nine people (eight of them employees of the company) died in the blaze which started at 9:55 am from a short circuit on the first floor of the four-storey building. The eight were trapped in the lifts during the fire while the ninth victim died in the toilet on the second floor. Millions of consumer goods for Christmas went up in flames.

Second Fighter Squadron Formed

Wednesday, 15th November 1972

The second SADC (RSAF) Squadron, named the The 141 Squadron "Merlins" Squadron. was formed. The new squadron operates 25 refurbished Hawker Hunter jet aircraft. The squadron operates out from Tengah Air Base. Update: 144 Squadron had relocated to Paya Lebar Air Base in 1986. And change older Hawker Hunter FR.74S to the newer F-5E Tiger in 1992.

POSB Computerised

Sunday, 15th October 1972

POSB converted its manual system of accounting into computer processing. Arising from the computerisation exercise, all old passbooks have been replaced with new-look passbooks in attractive plastic covers.

SIA's Golden Bird Takes Off

Sunday, 1st October 1972

Singapore Airlines, or SIA, took to the air at dawn which heralded a new era in the Singapore's aviation history. The first SIA flight SQ108, a Boeing 737 aircraft left for Kuala Lumpur at 6.14am.

AETI Inaugurated

Sunday, 1st October 1972

The Air Engineering Training Institute (AETI) was inaugurated. AETI is the new centralised training school for SADC (RSAF) technical personnel. The pioneering batch of AETI students was trained by expatriate trainers mainly from Britain (ex-RAF personnel).

PAP Won 1972 General Election

Saturday, 2nd September 1972

The PAP wins the 1972 General Election. In this General Election, there were a total of 138 candidates (from six parties and two Independents) vying for 57 out of the 65 contested seats. The PAP won all 65 seats.

RAAF Mirage III Crashed

Thursday, 6th July 1972

Due to an in-flight fire of a Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) Mirage III at a location about 30 nautical miles northwest of Tengah Air Base. The Australian Flight Officer J. W. Kindler ejected from his aircraft at 5,500 ft and 350 kts with only minor injuries.

Singapore Airlines Limited was formed

Thursday, 1st June 1972

In June of 1972 Singapore Airlines Limited was formed; its first chairperson was the former joint chief of MSA (Malaysia-Singapore Airlines), J.Y. Pillay. In July of 1972 Singapore Airlines (or SIA as it came to be known) purchased its first Boeing 747s, which would become the mainstay of its fleet. The MSA ceased operations after 6 years in 1972 when both governments decided to set up their own national airlines. Hence from that year, Malaysian Airline System, now called Malaysia Airlines, and Singapore Airlines were formed.

Pilot Training Squadron Formed

Monday, 1st May 1972

150 Squadron was form on this day. The squadron is based in the Changi Air Base with is home SIAI-Marchetti SF.260. The fourteen SF.260 will be used for the basic flying training role. The new aircraft replaces the Cessna 172K which was in service since 1969 which was transfer to Junior Flying Club (Singapore Youth Flying Club, SYFC).

Seventh Singapore Grand Prix

Sunday, 2nd April 1972

The focus of the 1972 Grand Prix was on safety. The National Sports Promotion Board had available for emergencies with 60 doctors, 120 nursing personnel, 200 St John’s volunteers, 8 ambulances and a in-circuit field hospital. In addition, the race organiser invested $20,000 in closed circuit TV to monitor the race. Despite all these, the race claimed the life to Lionel Chan when his Brabham BT16 careered off the street circuit and landed at the base of a ravine. The main race was won by Max Stewart in his Mildren-England Twin Cam and the Motorcycle GP was won by Geoff Perry in his Suzuki TR750.

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