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Writers Soar as They Honour the RAAF

Each year Forestville RSL sub-Branch runs an Art and Writing competition to develop a deeper understanding of the role of the military in Australia’s history. This year the topic was ‘Australian Military Aviation and the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force’, acknowledging the significant contributions that airpower has made to the defence of Australia. Congratulations to all students who entered – it is wonderful to honour the sacrifices made by men and women by learning about and reflecting on the past.

Special congratulations to four of our students who were awarded prizes for their writing:

Ben G (4H) - 1st place in Division 1 Prose Writing (Year 3 and 4)

Shawn Y (3R) - 2nd place in Division 1 Prose Writing (Year 3 and 4)

Maddie T (6S) - 2nd place in Division 2 Prose Writing (Year 5 and 6)

Caleb J (6S) - 3rd place in Division 2 Prose Writing (Year 5 and 6)


By Caleb (Year 6)

The battle of Darwin

Evan’s story.

We were patrolling the base when we were attacked. Messerschmitt 109s came screaming down from the skies. Henschel Hs 123 flew overhead dropping bombs. We had been patrolling the base for hours. The Germans completely caught us off guard. We were not ready and we were tired. We started flying in formation, but when the Germans came, we split up, Everyman for himself.

Dogfights were all around us. I saw a Hurricane MK.11c open fire on a Heinkel 162. The Heinkel turned around to start firing on the Hurricane but had a head-on collision with it instead. The planes exploded instantly. There was no chance for either pilot.

A Messerschmitt (MEs) 109 started trailing me, forcing me to fly away from the base, toward Darwin Harbour. Soon we were over the Harbour and were now flying over farmland.

The Me 109 opened fire on me. Suddenly I had an idea. As the Messerschmitt kept firing, I pretended to be hit and spiralled down towards the ground. We were trained to do this in case of being in a dogfight (like this one).

The Messerschmitt bought it, but followed me down, trying to shoot me down faster. Then I was actually hit. One of the bullets hit my tail, and the clips connecting the tail were disconnected so I had lost control of the plane. The tail flapped uselessly, hanging by a few wires. I was flying everywhere. I was so busy trying to get control of the Spit, I forgot about the Me 109! After it had hit me, it had swooped up into the sky toward the sun, so that anyone watching wouldn’t be able to see it, and blind themselves in the process.

Now it came down, its engine screaming and opening fire.

As it zoomed past, my plane swerved to the right, toward the Messerschmitt. The Messerschmitts wing hit mine, and half my cabin flew off, leaving me open to debris. The Messerschmitts left-wing flew off, straight into me, completely vulnerable with half my cabin missing. Then everything went black.

The Germans story:

After my wing hit him, both planes went spiralling down towards the ground. His crashed first, then mine. Then everything went black for me, too. When I woke up I was still in my plane. I checked myself. No broken bones. Then I noticed the Spitfire I shot lying about a hundred metres from my plane. A fire was burning on the tail, and petrol was rapidly spreading out of the plane's engine towards the fire.

I hopped out of my plane and pulled out my Luger P08 heavy-duty pistol. I started running towards the Spit. When I got there the petrol was almost to the fire. I looked into the cockpit and cocked my pistol. Then I saw something. Something that stopped me in my tracks. The pilot of the spit had a picture of him, his daughter and his wife. They were all smiling happily. It was obviously before the war. I realised something. This man was like me. He wasn’t fighting for the RAAF. He wasn’t fighting for his country, or John Curtin. He was fighting for his family. Like me. I wasn’t fighting for the army, or my country, or Hitler, I was fighting for my family, and this man. I looked towards the petrol and the fire and the petrol was right next to the fire. I had seconds to act.

I put my pistol away, and grabbed the man, pulling him out of the cockpit. On second thoughts, I grabbed the picture and took them both away. A second later the Spit exploded.

BOOOOOOOM! I didn’t look back, though I could smell the thick, smoke, and could see it seeping past me, as black as a piece of charcoal. I could feel the intense heat like a blow torch suddenly slam into me as I ran away with the man.

A Boulder suddenly loomed up in front of me, and I found my extra reserve of energy. I’d never run so fast in my life. I ducked around the rock, pulling the man behind me, just as my planes exploded. In all the time of rescuing this pilot, I’d forgotten about my crashed plane.

At the sight of two explosions, two Ford GPWs came speeding out of the nearby, backup airforce base. When they got here, four men hopped out from each vehicle. They all had rifles.I put my hands up. The pilot whom I’d saved came round.

“You…saved me,” he whispered.



By Maddie (Year 6)

The End  

Gunshots. 

Big heavy gunshots tearing the world apart. 

One wrong move. 

One flick of the headlights turning on, giving away his position, could lead him into his grave. 

But he was doing this for his country. 

Everything in his body screams in remorse as he flies over the trenches. 

Below him, people fire their guns, hidden in the dark depths below. 

The snow, coloured red from soldiers’ blood and a thick odour of decay filled the air. 

  

Next to him, his companions fall from the sky the plane’s engines drowning out his cry of loss.  

He had to keep reminding himself. 

Tonight, it could be over. 

Tonight, the Nazis could lose. 

Tonight, Hitler could be defeated. 

And yet he had been saying that for 4 months.  

When was enough? 

A split second passed as realises that he was being followed.  

Followed by the enemy. 

Followed by the Nazis.  

All of his instincts flooded away from him, leaving his brain empty without knowledge of the situation. 

Adrenaline rushed through his body as bullets from behind fired rapidly at the tail end of the plane.  

Everything seemed to go slow. 

Too slow. 

Something jolts in the aircraft and the ferocious heat of a missile hits the Aileron. Intense heat burns the exterior of the wing of the small fighter plane. Gravity pulls the plane as he plummets down to the earth’s surface. 

He falls lifeless as the plane explodes in the sky. 

His parachute launches into action slowing the fall. 

Everything was a blur and soon he was lost in a dreamless sleep. 

He woke to the screams of soldiers as raw blood drips from their body, the terrors of war painted over their faces.  

Around him the white marque held up a dome shaped room with canvas beds. 

One of which he was lying on. 

His head roars with pain and his ears rang with the constant noise of bullets being fired repeatedly. However, something felt oddly strange in his legs. 

His legs. 

He can't feel them.  

Then he remembered. 

The hit. 

Falling 

Falling  

Anger burned within him like a fire monster. He fought for his country, lost his brother and now he was rewarded with this.  

Lying there in his bed unable to move, unable to walk, he notices something. The atmosphere in the room was different. 

Silence 

Silence 

Silence 

And then a cheer.  

  

By Shawn (Year 3)

The Royal Australian Air Force

On March 31, 1921 the Australian Government started the Air Force (also known as RAAF which means Royal Australian Air Force). The air force began because Australia had to attack from the ground as well as the sky. The RAAF is the second oldest independent air force in the world. This air force grew larger after they opened an air force training school called Central Flying School at Point Cook, Victoria. It opened on 22 October 1912. The pioneers of the Australia Flying Corps were an integral part of World War 1. Altogether, 9,870 air force people have died in the war. The Australian Imperial Force fought in both France and in the Middle East. The RAAF today plays a major role in keeping the peace and helping humanity in Bougainville, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Pakistan, Papa New Guinea, Rwanda, Solomon Island, Somalia and the Sudan.

One aviator, Charles Kingsford-Smith became one of the best pilots in Australia and held many flight records. Charles Kingsford Smith's face appears on the 20-dollar banknote and he received a knighthood for everything he did. He became Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Another aviator, Hudson Fysh was the founder of the airline QANTAS and was one of the soldiers in the fight for Australians at Gallipoli. Mr Fysh died at the age of 79 on the 6th of April 1974. Another famous aviator, Wing Commander Hughie Edwards became the Governor of Western Australia after he retired from the RAAF. He was an Australian recipient of the Victorian Cross and died on August the 5th, 1982. In May 1946, the RAAF made a F.3 Meteor aircraft. It was the first army plane to be made in Australia.  The Australian Air Force has successfully been around for 100 years!