Homefront Caldwell

Military aircraft crashes were not uncommon in wartime Queensland, local Police often the first responders.   By 1944 Queensland coastal communities had grown accustomed to the daily sight and sound of military aircraft transiting to and from forward bases in Papua New Guinea, and beyond. Monitoring the northbound progress of one such formation on the […]

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A camoufleur’s art

For more than a century official war artists have helped shape our understanding of Australian military history. Often selected on the basis of their pre-war reputations, the works produced by official war artists such as Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Arthur Streeton and Albert Tucker have become staple offerings for a nation now locked into a  […]

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Unplanned

In early June 1944 the RAAF’s No.457 Squadron, one of three Spitfire units recalled from Britain for homeland defence, began exchanging its near-obsolete Mk.V aircraft with more effective Mk.VIIIs. As deliveries of the latter began arriving in the Northen Territory, squadron pilots would ferry equal numbers of the former south for overhaul and re-assignment – […]

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Ipswich Railway Workshops

As a consequence of the 1939 British Air Mission to Australia, the state railways in Victorian, New South Wales, and South Australian each became involved in the production of military aircraft and aero engines. Following a visit to Queensland in March 1939 by the Mission’s Technical Member L C Ord, serious consideration was also given […]

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Gundaroo’s Ventura

I just remember the biting cold thinking, all the while, that perhaps we shouldn’t have been traipsing – in winter – through bush-land in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, especially while it was sleeting. Thoughts of all that wasted organisational effort might have dissuaded me from postponing, along with the knowledge that any […]

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Alternative perspectives

Aviation literature is frustratingly uncommon, especially here in Australia where one hand is probably all you need to count the number of author’s who have produced significant works of artistic merit (e.g. Xavier Herbert, Ivan Southall, Don Charlwood, Gordon Taylor and Geoffrey Dutton). While the writings of author and historian Gavin Souter have never attracted […]

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