SECOND WORLD WAR
BRITISH AND AUSTRALIAN AIRMEN PLAYED A SMALL, BUT IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE DELICATE WARTIME ALLIANCE BETWEEN STALIN AND THE WESTERN ALLIES, AS AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL HISTORIAN DR DAVID SUTTON REVEALS.
HAMPDENS IN RUSSIA
On 2 October 1942, the Handley Page Hampdens of 144 Squadron RAF took off from Leuchars, Scotland, for a short flight to the Shetlands. The aircraft were to make their flight alongside 455 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and, when waiting for the Australians to take off, performed a series of daring aerial acrobatics over the airfield: flying low and taking sharp turns. A flight sergeant of 144 Squadron, who had just finished putting the aircraft into tip-top condition, despaired: “Three weeks of maintenance work and now those risks!”