As a basic flying school, 10 EFTS used the standard British trainer aircraft of the time, the De Havilland Tiger Moth – built under licence in Australia. These were a 1930s design, but their construction, style and flight characteristics were more similar to the aircraft of World War 1. They now are greatly prized and to fly in one is an absolute thrill: “Biggles” move over!
The Museum's Ryan STM was part of a shipment being sent for the Dutch Airforce in the Dutch East Indies when the Japanese invaded. The ship delivered them to Australia where they flew in the airforce as both training and communications aircraft. Apart from the surviving aircraft from this shipment, few others of the type now are in existence.
The third photo shows a CAC Wirraway. This was an Australian derivative of a North American trainer aircraft, intended for ‘Army Support’ (communications and artillery spotting) and for advanced training. Through political mismanagement, Australia had no front-line fighters at the start of WWII, so a detachment of these aircraft and Hudson bombers were sent to Rabaul, north of Australia, to confront the Japanese. Japanese air raids began in January 1942 and, famously, eight of these aircraft attacked a formation of 100 Japanese bombers and fighters – as the Wirraways could not match the speed of even the Japanese bombers, the results were predictable. When ordered to continue attacking the Japanese with the one remaining Wirraway and Hudson, the Commanding Officer’s reply message was the Gladiators’ 2000 year old salute 'nos morituri te salutamus' (we who are about to die salute you)! The surviving members of the squadron later were returned to Australia. Wirraways performed stirling service in their designed role as trainers and artillery spotters throughout the War and, as trainers, for some years later. The extensive use of white (and lack of red) was to help ground troops to easily distinguish the aircraft from the Japanese.
From the 1950s, two-seater versions of the De Havilland Vampire, an early jet fighter, became Australia’s jet trainers. They continued in operation until the early 1970s.
Main photo: Tiger Moth
Second photo: Ryan STM
Third photo: Ryan and Tiger
Fourth, photo Wirraway
Fifth, photo Vampire
I wonder what was the reaction of the good people of Temora in 1941, when they suddenly found themselves hosting an aerodrome and the No 10 Elementary Flying Training School. It must have enlivened the town enormously when it started! This was part of the “Empire Air Training Scheme”, providing pilots for the War in both Europe and the Pacific. Over the next 4 years, 10 EFTS became the largest of these schools and turned out something like 2500 pilots. Because there would have been too many aircraft movements for one airport, supplementary airstrips were established on several farms in the area, with the aircraft and trainees returning to Temora at the end of their days’ activities. The main photo shows the Aviation Museum’s model of 10EFTS as it was in 1944, with a photo behind - those yellow rows are tiny models of all the Tiger Moths all lined up, as they were in the photo.
It is interesting that in those days the airfield was entirely grassed, all that was needed for the basic trainer aircraft. Two sealed runways now have been constructed as a result of the Museum’s operations, one capable of handling long range jet aircraft.
In Photo 2 shows a poster illustrating Australia’s wartime training aerodromes. Those with the yellow aircraft alongside were part of the basic flying training programme – this also clearly illustrates where Temora is located.
As mentioned in a previous tip, with war in the Pacific looming, no modern fighter aircraft were available in Australia. As an emergency measure, work began to build a highly modified Wirraway with the largest engine available – from a DC3! The Boomerang resulted and was flying in under 12 months from conception. Maybe as well, when production versions became available, it was possible to source fighter aircraft from overseas. Boomerangs went on to operate effectively as ground attack aircraft throughout the war. The only remaining flying example is the one in the Temora Museum.
As the war went on, Australia acquired P40 Kittyhawk aircraft, then Spitfires, which had the manoeuvrability to fight on even terms with the Japanese aircraft they met. Temora has Australia’s only flying Spitfires, a Mk XVI painted in colours used by an Australian squadron in the Middle East, the other (in these photos) a Mk VIII painted in the colours of a famous squadron involved in the defence of Darwin and later in the Indonesian islands.
A few years later, Australia again found itself involved in a war, this time in Korea. The RAAF originally operated Mustang aircraft in this conflict, but with the advent of jets, acquired Gloster Meteor F8 aircraft from Britain. These were the latest development of a wartime design, but when the North Koreans introduced modern Russian swept-wing MiG aircraft the Meteors were totally outclassed. The Museum’s aircraft is the last flying F8 Meteor in the world.
Main and second photos: Boomerang
Third photo: Spitfire Mk VIII
Fourth, fifth photos Meteor Mk 8
At the start of WWII, Australia’s bomber force consisted of Lockheed Hudson aircraft. On 7 December 1941, the Japanese began major attacks on Malaya, Pearl Harbour, Wake Island, Hong Kong, Guam and the Phillipines. Here’s a little known fact: the Pacific War began, not at Pearl Harbour, but some hours earlier when Australian Hudson bombers attacked the Japanese invasion fleet heading for Malaya, sinking one transport ship. That was the high point for the Hudsons! From there onwards, they were found to lack both adequate defence and speed: the surviving aircraft completed the war as transports. Subsequently they were retired, the example now at Temora becoming a photographic mapping survey aircraft, before being restored to its wartime finish in recent years. Although these aircraft were used extensively throughout the world, this is the sole flying example anywhere.
With the advent of jet engines, military forces throughout the world moved to jet aircraft as quickly as possible. In Britain, the English Electric company designed the Canberra (even naming it after Australia’s capital) and that became the main Australian bomber aircraft from the early 1950s until the 1970s. These aircraft also were used by many other countries, last seeing action with the Argentinian Air Force in the Falklands/Malvinas war. Although another airworthy example of this aircraft (now privately owned) is in the USA, the Temora Museum’s Canberra is the last in regular use anywhere in the world.
Main photo: Hudson
Second photo: Hudson and Wirraway
Third photo: Canberra
Fourth, fifth photos Canberra and Hudson
This baby dropped by on it's way to a Warbirds fly in.
The warbirds have a sound of their own!
I am so glad that I have had a chance to see one in action.
This taking off was something to see!
Lining up beside the runway on the grass and then full power (what a sound) what a beautiful thing!
The spit fire and the trojan did a formation takeoff . One (spitfire) on the grass and the other (trojan) on the runway!
Favorite thing: When one of the Pitts had a small problem. Everyone was there to lend a helping hand ( and in this case a few parts also).
Go to Temora for the labour long weekend ( the 1st wkend in Oct)
The comp is something for everyone even if you don't fly yourself you can enjoy watching the show from the ground!