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HillView Residential Aged Care’s Own War Hero
23 April 2019
Like most ANZAC Veterans the memory of lush tropical jungles, damp humid air and small spaces are all too familiar for HillView Residental Aged Care resident Chris. The only difference is Chris has memories of the dense jungle canopies of Papua New Guinea from 10,000 feet above. Chris served as a fighter Pilot in World War 2. He was in the service from 1941 to 1945. And spent most of his time in the service flying above the jungles fighting in Papua New Guinea.
Amongst the long days away from home and the hard times of war Chris fondly recalls sharing many jokes and pranks with his comrades. He said they pulled pranks on each other as a way of lightening the situation. And trying to deal with the horrific journey they were sharing together. One particular prank that was popular amongst the pilots was the stealing and hiding of each others Goggles. During his time in the service Chris flew many different fighter planes. Once the war was over Chris decided to leave the service. In 1946 he was a founding member of TAA. Chris flew with the airline which ultimately became known as Qantas Domestic in the capacity of Captain until 1982.
His time in the air laid a foundation for his love of aviation. Chris attended University in the USA and became one of Australia’s first qualified Aircraft accident investigators. Chris has maintained this love and is a huge fan on Air Crash investigations and all airline shows. It seems that aviation is in the blood in Chris’s family. With two of his sons working in the aviation industry and his grandson following in his footsteps. He flew helicopters for the Army in Darwin.
As Australians it is important to acknowledge the sacrifices our service men and women past and present have made for us. This year HillView Residential Aged Care communities held our ANZAC service in the Gooding Centre at our Merrimac community and in our dining room at our Ashmore community. Our resident ANZACs attended the services. Chris attended the Merrimac service proudly wearing his medals.