I was more interested in the air than the navy because where we had lived at Mosman we were on the direct flying route particularly for the people who used to make record attempts between England and Australia. They’d come down the coast and over Manly, which we could see from our place
and they would be met by flocks of aircraft from the New South Wales Aero Club which would come out to meet them and then escort them out and over the city and so I saw a lot of airplanes. In fact one year when I was coming home from a school,
Arthur Butler who later started Butler Airways had just flown out to England, and as we were walking home from school he flew right over us, and he was quite low. This was a big thing to just see. So I had an attraction for air and about
1939, I’d been in the Militia about one year and a half I suppose, and I saw an advertisement in probably the Sydney Morning Herald, I think that was the paper that we bought, in which the air force, the RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] was interested in
taking on young fellows for a flying course and the attraction of that was that if they could complete the course they would obtain a four year commission with the RAAF or they maybe transferred to the RAF [Royal Air Force] in England.
I was becoming very dissatisfied with my life in the insurance company and I wanted to do something different and I could feel that I had more in life than just working as a clerk. I sent away for the
application papers, but being, I think I was then eighteen and before the papers could be sent in I had to have my father’s approval. Dad was not too keen on this, and in fact we had great arguments. He reckoned the army was the only
place to be but in addition to that, my cousin, who the young fellow as I said was in the church choir, was working at the time for what was called the College of Civil Aviation and this was a unit, which trained
people as aircraft mechanics and that sort of thing. It was run by Sir Keith Smith, he was one of the two Smith brothers who were the first to fly from England to Australia and he used to say to me, “Don’t be a pilot,
be on the ground staff”, and of course my father took note of that because he knew more than I. Anyway, I eventually managed to get Dad to sign the papers and I sent them away and this would have been in August 1939. The closing date for the application
was 2nd September 1939 and on the 3rd September 1939, Mr Menzies [the Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies] said that Australia is at war with Germany on the side of England. That worried me you see and I thought that this was no good I would have withdrawn my application but then I thought what if people knew about this, it would be a rather cowardly thing to do.
I didn’t know anything about it in the hope that I would not be the sort of person that the RAAF was looking for. First of all my background wasn’t adequate in my opinion, I was not too sure that my academic ability was sufficient for them
and so I didn’t worry. Then in October our army unit went into camp for a fortnight or three weeks.
What else did they kit you out with?
That was all. We lived in barracks, which were fitted with just a bare wooden floor, a wire stretcher for a bed, the mattress was coarse material filled with straw.
We had a small cupboard in which we could put our personal things, which were much, just what we had arrived in and shaving kit and things like that. We were taught how to make a bed, blankets no sheets, and how it had to be setup everyday. We were
taught, I will use an expression that you won’t like, “We were taught how to be gentlemen”, by that I mean we had to conform with a particular pattern that the RAAF wanted. It was up at about six, and you had time then for showering and shaving
and ablutions, breakfast and make up your bed and whatever was in your chest of drawers and sweep the hut out, polish your shoes and things like that. While we were having breakfast, the CO of the unit would come around and if things weren’t exactly as
we had been told to have them, the bed would have been torn apart, your stuff would be scattered all over the floor, and this upset a lot of the chaps. What we were being taught was to conform, this was the big thing. To conform with a service life, we were in the service now, and
it was good. It was hard work, because we would fly in the mornings, in the afternoons it was too rough to fly and then we would have lectures. Some days it was so hot that we would go into a lecture wearing your underpants and a towel, we wouldn’t even
find it necessary to bring in our writing materials, and we would be given the lecture and we would just have to remember it. We were given lectures and all sorts of things, airmanship, I can’t remember them now.
oldest air force establishment in the world, not just in Australia but in the world. It’s been a continuous air force establishment since it was formed. Point Cook was a permanent air force station, and it was staffed by permanent people. Now, these are the elite of the air force.
The instructors that taught thing us about airplanes were the elderly, senior, non-commissioned officers and they knew their jobs backwards and instructors were senior air force, when I say senior I mean fellows that had been in the air force for more than four years. They knew
the air force and they knew how to instruct them and they knew the aircraft and they were beautiful fliers. Point Cook had a warrant officer WOD, Warrant Officer Disciplinary called “Champion”. Now Champion was a fellow, not very tall,
fairly thin, he had a neck, which never moved from being stiff. They use to say he use to walk around with a broomstick up his backside, which kept him that way. He had been the WO instructor for every cadet course that had past through for donkey years. All the officers
were dead scared of him. When some years later he had left the air force he went around to every unit and he was entertained by all the officers. A marvellous man but they were all dead scared of him, scared. When our course arrived we didn’t have him, but we had a corporal
who he training. We were instructed in discipline. We then had better quarters, each cadet had a room, with a bed and a wardrobe and other things, but we had to polished the floors
and the same discipline applied. We had a set Cadet Mess where we were taught how to dine, in other words made sure that we ate correctly and we used the correct knives and forks and things like that. The training was to fit us for later life.
I was very grateful for all of this I think, and also I met there more people than had been on the course at Archerfield because some of the fellows on my course had been trained at Essendon and we
then came together at Point Cook. So for this intermediate training, we were at Point Cook, which was called Number One Flying Training School, Number One FTS. Half of the course because of their names were allotted to the
training squadron which had Westland Wapiti, you probably done know what that airplane looks like, I’ll show you later on. The other half, the lucky ones were trained on Hawker Demons
That make sense. After Point Cook, where to next?
When I finished at Point Cook I had about one hundred hours flying, that would have been about what all of us had. I received my commission as a pilot officer, which meant that we had to have the dimensions
taken of our physique and these were sent away to the clothing factory in Melbourne and uniforms were built for us, and we got a uniform. Then we were kitted out, and we received postings to different units.
Some went to bomber units, some went to what I might call floating units there usually just general purpose units, some went to units where they were trained as instructors. I was lucky enough to be posted
to 21 Squadron which then was a squadron based at Laverton and it was what was called a Simpson Air Force Squadron, 21, 22 didn’t exist, 23 or 24, 22 was
at Richmond in Sydney, 24 I think was in Brisbane or it may have been 23, 23 was in Perth. Later 23, or later 23 was numbered 25 so that I went first of all of
Laverton to 21 Squadron. After I’d been there about a fortnight, I was posted onto 25 Squadron outside Perth then for about …
I suppose women with whom you associated with socially, went out?
Pearce was well away from Perth, when I say well away I don’t know how far away it was, about thirty mile or something. A working week was five days, or it may have been six days.
Sometimes we would, it must have been five days. Sometimes if we received permission we would go into Perth and stay at one of the clubs and maybe have a look at the shops or go up the Scarborough, which was a long way up out of town
in those days. A long a dirt road in fact, and there was a hotel there and we could book a room and have our meals there and we’d go swimming, we’d take our togs with us. We’d go down to the beach and have a swim and come back in the afternoon for a meal there.
That was fairly rare because generally we’d be on duty for the Sunday, we’d have either a job as orderly officer or assistant or something like that, and also we’d be on standby. We didn’t have much time to go into town and have any civilian contacts.
Also we didn’t need to, because there was so much on the station, so many of the senior officers had their wives there, they lived on the station. This was what a permanent air force station was like. Senior officers had living quarters there and had their wives. We had plenty to do on the station, there was no reason really to go into town, or to be offered. For that reason,
I can’t think of anyone having any close attachment with girls in town, no I can’t remember.
It use to take all day to fly from Perth to Adelaide. We’d take off at about eight o’clock in the morning and stop at Kalgoorlie and we’d have a cup of tea before Kalgoorlie and at about lunch time a meal would be served, beautiful meals in those days. Then in the afternoon you’d have
afternoon tea. After lunch, when we were getting quite close to Adelaide, out to the right of us on the Great Australian Bight, it was black as anything, and out to the left of us you could see clouds of dust rolling in from the inland and we were flying between the two. Then eventually they came together and the airplane started to buck a bit
and the light came on to fasten your seatbelts, and I was in the rear seat, which was a single seat normally for the hostess I think, I was in that seat. Right up in the front was a women stretched out and she was the wife of one of the air force officers from Pearce going east for some sort
of medical treatment. So the hostess went up to the front and was trying to strap her down a bit and the plane was starting to buck. Then it would buck a bit more and just in front of me sitting over there was an Indian gentlemen with a normal fedora on his head and as it bucked a bit, out came that and he put on a peaked cap, and a bit more bucking and then all
of a sudden all of the baggage in the racks above our heads came out onto the floor and so he changed it to a fez, not feeling too good myself. Then all of a sudden the airplane just went onto its side and went down and down and down, and I thought, “Geez,
this is the end”, and it finished up with a colossal bang, and it straightened itself up and the hostess had been right up there and took off. From about that height she came flying down feet first along the passage way and hit the galley beside me and galley burst open in a cloud of barley sugar and she was sitting there smiling at me.
All of a sudden we buck together and “weee, crash” against the pilots’ cockpit. God, we were in a mess, you’d never seen such a mess, the passageway was laden with all this rubbish. We got to Adelaide, we landed and it was raining and we were standing on the tarmac,
and everything was being unloaded from the airplane and the pilot was there, and he was the senior pilot for the airline, and he said he’d never flown in conditions as bad as that. While we were waiting the other DC2 came down from Alice Springs, and it took three attempts to get down, it was a terrible flight.
I was on the Aquitania; I went over with six replacements. The first replacements was the 3 Squadron. The chap in charge of us was a senior member and he was the squadron leader, there were
a couple of blokes from the Brisbane Squadron, the Wirraway Squadron, there were two of us from the 25 Squadron.
One of the chaps from the Brisbane Squadron was a fellow called Johnny Jackson. He’s given his name to the aerodrome at Port Moresby, he was the first CO of 75 Squadron that was the first Kittyhawk Squadron
in New Guinea and he was killed after about six months. Johnny was a very experienced pilot, he was a stock and station agent in Queensland in private life and he had imported an airplane from America called the Beechcraft.
A very fast airplane, a very fast by plane, and he used it for his work in Queensland. He was called “Claypan” because he’d written a testimonial for Beechcraft, saying, “I’ve landed my Beechcraft on very windy claypans”, so in the air force they called him Claypan. Where as most pilots when they went to 3 were in their very early
twenties, Johnny was over thirty. He was always called “Old John”, he was old, Johnny was old. He had a marvellous upbringing, his parents had been wealthy. In his youth he’d travelled to England and maybe to other places in what was then called
the “The Young Australia League” - before World War II the Young Australia League use to select a number of young fellows each year and send them to England, as an education. Have you ever heard of it?
the more senior and experienced pilots and were then flown straight from the RSU straight up to the squadron, which was what we’d expect, they were all gunner pilots. When headquarters had discovered they had done that they said, “You’re not allowed to do that, you’ve got to convert to the Hurricane, you take it to Ismaliya to convert. Get the training
squadron at Ismaliya to convert them to Hurricanes and then you can take your own”. I was in that group that had to have some training on the Hurricanes at Ismaliya. We pick up the Hurricanes at
the RSU place and took them over to Ismaliya and went into the CO of the training squadron and said, “We’ve come down from 3 Squadron to train”, and he said, “You’re not in the bloody event”, sorry, “you’re not in the event”, he said “I’ve only got a couple of Hurricanes and a whole lot of fellows trying to get off of them”, and we said,
“We have brought our Hurricanes with us”. He said, “If you fellows go, don’t waste my time”. So we took them back and I remember I took mine, I had to have a wheel change and various things done to it.
They didn’t have the parts at Ismaliya so there was an aerodrome further down the canal with spare parts for the Hurricanes, so they gave me one of the bi-planes and I took the feather with me went down and pick up something and got back. On the way back to the squadron we stopped at a landing ground up towards
the Mersa Matruh I think it was, up towards the boundary of Libya and we landed there for lunch, because it was that time of the day. They had no water, but they had plenty of spirits so we topped up on spirits
and I remember I had to land again at Tobruk after Mersa Matruh for refuelling. I remember I must’ve misjudged my height because the airplane, I must have been a fair bit off the ground because all of a sudden the airplane fell right on its tail with an awful thump,
and I thought, I’d broken it, but anyway I hadn’t. In due course we got up to Benghazi which was where the squadron was. We were at Benghazi for quite a while, we weren’t on Benghazi aerodrome we were on Benina Aerodrome. Which was the Italian Air Force Base for that part of Libya,
a beautiful station, laid out streets, tennis courts, a zoo in fact, even a small zoo. A great big control tower, nearly as big as the one at Tel Aviv and we were there for a couple of months.
What did you see when you say that you saw a fellow shot down, can you describe what you saw?
I’d probably describe it better by mentioning the fight we had one day near Tobruk but this was later when we had Tomahawks. When 3 and 1 and 2 Squadron had gone out as a wing
and we’d been attacked by 109s [German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter planes] several times on the way out to the area that we were suppose to patrol. I’d seen one or two 109s shot down and then as we got close to Tobruk we were attacked by
maybe about twenty-odd 109s and because we were following 112 Squadron we weren’t leading the wing that day. We unfortunately went into a turn with 112 Squadron and we thought that they were just going to turn but instead of that they continued to turn and went into
what is sometimes called a “defensive circle”, and naturally we were part of the wing and we went in with them. We got stuck there and we stayed in it for sixty three minutes. In that sixty three minutes I saw one fellow just a bit
up from here he was hit by a 109 and he got out into his parachute, and I saw his parachute and by the time I had gone around the circle I wasn’t looking for him. Another chap who was just up in front of me and slightly lower, at about my height was rammed
by a 109. The tactics of the 109s was to sit above us and then dive through us in pairs and they’d shoot on their way down. We were going around in circles. The bloke that was hit by the 109 and as he was hit half of one wing was sheared off and the 109
just disintegrated into a shower of sparks, like a cone that was gradually expanding and so in that time I saw this one fellow shot down here and the one up there.
If you could describe it in words that would be much better for us?
The flap section of his port wing completely, so that he had a big gap in his wing like that. He was down near the bottom circle and after about sixty three minutes I was getting a bit tired of this and the sun was setting and I called up, and we hadn’t been using the intercom and I called up and said, “Let’s get out of this
bloody circle”, and a fellow called Bobby Gibbs he signed that and he was later CO of the squadron said, “All right, you lead”. As soon as I had reached that part of the circle where I was facing east which was where we had to go to get back to base. I broke out
and as I looked back I looked in the rear vision mirror or looked back and no one was following me, I thought that I wasn’t going to be by myself and I went to turn back but as I did the others started to stream out and I was just about on the deck and the others were really getting down towards the deck and it was starting to get dark and we had to go quite a way to get back to our own aerodrome.
We’d lost most of 112 Squadron at this stage, how he’d got out of the circle I don’t know. The others were following me and we were putting our power on to increase our speed to get back before it was dark and I remember this fellow who had lost this great big piece of wing went past me like a rocket. How he did it I don’t know, he was going like the clappers.
We’d gone quite a distance, we got just about back I think just over the border to Egypt and Libya and all of a sudden a fairy light was fired from the ground and I looked down and I could just make out that there were
a couple of Hurricanes there. So like a flash I did a circuit and came into land. This fellow that had lost so much of his wing was already landed, he’d gone straight in and the rest of us went down and it turned out that that was a very forward landing ground that was being used by the
reconnaissance squadron they had Hurricanes still and they’d apparently seen right out into the distance, they’d seen us coming home and realised that we had to land in the dark, or before it got dark. Someone had used his brains and fired a fairy light and it led us in. That day, only one of our squadron got back to base
from that fight and the next morning we struggled in with about another seven I think. That was just that one occasion.
I always despised myself that day because again I was swinging and I was the only swinger that day and a flight of us, not a full twelve, a lesser number had gone out
to Palmyra escorting a squadron of Bremen bombers going to bomb a particular force of Frenchman who were out near this place. We’d been delayed because of the bombers
and we used up a lot of fuel in taking them out to Palmyra when they left we waited around for a while because we had an intelligence support that there was a bombing raid by the French on this bridge, and this British force that was out there. Then the chap who was
leading the flight reckoned that we’d been out long enough and we started to come home, in other words back to Damascus to refuel and I’d been swinging and had a lot of trouble because we were so slow going out and I had to maintain a much higher speed that was needed to just stay to protect our flight.
When the flight had turned to come home I had been flying in the opposed direction and I’d got behind them, looking back although I was still weaving behind them trying to catch up I saw two French bombers come in and bomb
and I thought to myself our bombers had done their job, and that was what they were suppose to do, they were suppose to protect them, it doesn’t matter if these French bombers do their job, and so I swung a bit and did another swing, another swing and I thought, we cant
go back to the squadron that I saw all these bombers coming in, so I called the flight leader and said, “There’s bombers back there”, and we turned. Just as we were turning I saw the next two bombers came in well of course the blokes got stuck into them and we flew back and attacked them and again as I say as a swinger I’m not allowed to take part in the fighting, then I saw two more
come in and by that time I think the flight must’ve used most of its ammunition and so the flight leader said, “All right, you can attack now”, and another chap and I attacked and attacked and attacked. The last bomber, the sixth he fought like the clappers and I don’t know what he did to his engine but he must’ve over boosted it so much and we were flat out and the other chap would come in and shoot
and I’d come in and shoot and we were doing this all the time the pair of us. Until we forced him right down and the crew tumbled out, because he had skidded along on the dirt. I kicked myself I thought I didn’t have to say that I saw those aircraft, because we were on our way back to
Damascus to refuel and we’d done our job, we’d protected the bombers and yet we’d destroyed all of these Frenchman and it had been a real carnage because I remember as the sixth one went down on the ground the other fellows from the flight had caught up with, Peter and I, Peter was the other bloke
who was shooting below. They started to come in and we going to start shooting at the fellows on the ground, the crew that had fallen out and I remember the flight leader called up and he said, “Don’t you touch them, I’ll shoot the first man that goes for them” and he really meant it. Our bloodlust was really up that day. We came back to Damascus and refuelled
and then the airplanes took off individually to go back to our base at Rosh Pinna which was just up above the sea of Galilee in Palestine and very close to what use to be called Lake Hula, which is no longer a lake and they closed it all in and they planted crops. I couldn’t get
off from Damascus because one of my brakes had seized and I couldn’t let it go so I was waiting for the wheel to cool. While I was waiting one of the other chaps took off to go back to Rosh Pinna and his engine cut out just after he’d taken off and he turned back to try to land on the runway at
Damascus, stalled and led in and killed himself. I remember I went down to look at him, within about a minute or too, I and another chap ran down and I remember I was most astonished because it was so hot in Palestine then and we were flying in shorts and short sleeved shirt
and his legs were twisted like a cork screw, and of course he was dead. That left a funny taste in my mouth.
In theatres or in bars in cafes?
I can’t remember theatres, I can remember bars. Some of the ground crew were very lucky they could be given days off, they might have a week off or something and they’d go and live in a commune, one of the Jewish communes.
You must remember in those days that was 1941 the Jews were just starting to get into Palestine in any number. At one stage we landed in a paddock near Haifa
and it had been sown, it had been wheat I think. It was close to a Jewish settlement and since we got there in the morning and the patrol was not to be until after lunch
we were picked up by a truck from one of the Jewish communes and we were taken in for lunch. Gee, they were living hard, they were living hard. Just ordinary wooden tables and we were entertained before lunch by the very old men of the commune, certain young girls and women
served the meal which was again pretty rough, and the utensils were pretty rough. Other young girls were responsible for looking after the children, and all the other young people and those of not so young in age were out working. Everybody worked, not a single soul was doing nothing.
They were the most courageous people I thought, they were trying to make something of the land that they had gone to. Even up at Lake Hula, the people there were hard workers but also they were using the lake for fishing because I remember down a bit
from us there was a British Cavalry Unit that was being converted to mechanisation. Some of us one day went down because every morning they exercised their horses and I was talked into going down and I said, “Yes, I’ve
ridden before”, so I was roped in, and these chargers they were magnificent beasts. I got on one and all he wanted to do, and he knew I wasn’t a horseman all he wanted to do was to walk sideways, have you ever tried to ride a horse sideways? How I stayed on I don’t know. Anyway we went up very slowly because each chap was leading
a couple and we went up to this kibbutz up at Lake Hula and we stopped there for a rest and then we started to come home. When the horse knows that he’s going home, he goes like the clappers and mine just took off, he took off and I remember Pete Turnbull who was the chap who had shot down this last bomber he
was a country man and he’d been the junior buck jumping champion up in northern New South Wales before he joined the air force. He said, “Are you all right?”, and I said, “I think so”, anyway he could see that I wasn’t and he raced his horse down and caught up with mine just before it reached a small creek and he was going to jump. I was so stiff after that the next day
we were going to move from Rosh Pinna up to Rayak in the Rayak Valley, that was the name that I was trying to think of and they wouldn’t let me fly with them, I had to fly by myself, because my legs were so stiff I couldn’t move.
Any other notable fights over Syria?
Yes, there were a couple of occasions and we did a lot of strafing up there. I can tell you one humorous occasion and one not so humorous. We use to staff the road between Damascus and Rayak Valley
and there was a railway line that ran there and also there was a river that runs and I’ve forgot the name of it. The road is in a valley, not a valley so much but there were hills that came up very close to the road and it was a very windy road.
Very hard to staff vehicles on a road like that and you’d go in and pull up and twist around. One day we were staffing one of these roads and we saw some vehicles that had just about got into the Rayak Valley where it was open and the road was fairly straight and there were about four or five cars and an ambulance.
A fellow, that I can talk about later, started to shoot at the ambulance and I thought that was a bit in for a dig. I was shooting at a car and it stopped and a an Arab got out and he was dressed in Arab pants with the great bit sack to catch Mohammad when he arrives,
these were white and his jacket was dark and he had a fez on and he hopped out of his car and it was going to be strafed and he could see what we were doing and he ran out over the field. One of the blokes, who was a little bit ahead of me fired some rounds
close to him and these was a little white dog that came out of the car with him and of course this white dog ran like hell and past the bloke. I went down and put a few more bullets in, into the ground not into the bloke. I can remember he took off and he passed that dog as though it was standing still.
That’s a terrible thing isn’t it, it was funny at the time. The other thing was that one morning about five of us took off and we were going to try and catch the French Air Force that was on an aerodrome called Homs.
We took off very early after sun rise and our intention was that we would have the sun behind us and we’d be able to go straight down into this aerodrome and we would be hard to see, with the sun behind you you can’t look straight into the sun. We did that, and again this day I was swinger again and I was the swinger for the flight this time
and all the time and I swung out when the others went in and strafed the aircraft on the ground and you could see the crews working on them, they were working on the aircraft. They were spread out so as to cover the aerodrome
and obviously I was going to strafe too but I didn’t find a target because it was out of my, I was too far to one side. So I did a complete turn again and I came in again what I could see was drums of petrol, forty four drums of petrol so I shot at those and away the fellows went
right at ground level, so that they couldn’t be shot at or anything and I’m starting to swing and I’m well behind them and I looked back and there was a massive column of black smoke towering up from this place and I read later in various sources that what had happened
was that the fuel had ignited from being strafed and it had spread and in fact this aerodrome was such that the aerodrome was there, there was a railway line here and we came in that way. The fuel dump had ignited and next
to that was an ammunition train and next to that was a train filled with troops obviously just waking up for breakfast. The ammo train had blown up and it would have killed about a thousand odd troops. You know, it was a very successful morning, a good operation that one. That one was not so funny of course.
generally you’d come into North Africa and Rommel was quite successful and he reached Tobruk and couldn’t take it and so he proceeded to the border of Egypt. Which was about as far as he was prepared to stretch his supply line,
do you remember a thousand miles is a long way for a particular advance. He reached the border of Sollum and he couldn’t take Tobruk because the Australians were holding out and then people who replaced them and Tobruk was being
replenished with ammunition and what not by the Royal Navy which was towing barges into Tobruk every night and taking them out by night. It about reached Sollum, which was the border if you like going into Tobruk by nightfall,
they towed in and then the ones that were emptied would be brought out and then would about reach Sollum again at dawn. We did a lot of escort of cover of these barges from the city of Sidi Haneish and for that purpose we developed the formation again which was called the
“weaving pairs formation”, which was a little bit copied from the Germans in that the aircraft were in pairs but at different heights like this, and everyone was weaving, except the leader - he flew straight, someone had to know where they were going. We had the swingers one down there and one up there and we did a lot of this work. Sometimes the 109s
would come out but if we stayed out over the things that we were suppose to protect they would attack us, sometimes they did but generally they didn’t. Sometimes there would be naval ships that we had to protect but you couldn’t fly over them because the navy would shoot at anything that came over it. Because a ship took longer to produce
and it was more expensive than any airplane ever built. The navy or the “farmers” as we called them, were always suspicious, anyway that’s nothing. Sometimes we’d do a patrol just a defensive patrol out past Tobruk and sometimes we’d escort bombers out on the bombing raid near Tobruk.
Gradually the British forces built up in strength, in the number of tanks they had and in about November I think, or a little earlier the
British mounted an operation called “Operation Crusader”, I may have the date wrong but anyway towards the end of 1941. Their forces were stronger by this stage and also they had obtained
some special incendiary tank ammunition which meant their tanks were much more effective or could be more effective. 3 Squadron had a few of the longer servicing members sent home and we were getting new pilots from Australia.
You’d been had been there for a while by this stage, hadn’t you?
I was getting towards my year. We weren’t keeping them for more than a year. Eventually the British were able to push Rommel back and relieve Tobruk
and that meant that the 3 Squadron went to that aerodrome which I called El Adem, the one south of Tobruk which is I think now is the main Tobruk aerodrome, it’s probably an airport in fact, and so we were operating from there. At the beginning of December
we were relieved for a week, to train up some new pilots and to get our aircrafts tanked up and I remember one night I was sitting out in the desert next to another chap on our
two-holed toilet, it was cold and the wind was blowing and we were out in the open and it was black as pitch. He said to me, “The doc has decided that six of us had to go home, we are going to be allowed to fly for another fortnight”,
or another week, I’ve forgotten the time, “and if we’re not relieved he is going to ground us”, and he said, “If you’re lucky enough not to be killed or shot down”, he said, “I think you’re going to be number six”. I thought, “This is great, I’ve got a chance of going home”. We went back into the desert,
or went back to El Adem and we reached a stage where we were getting short of pilots and so we were taken off normal patrol operations and we were getting a lot of them because another force had been built up.
The air force was pretty strong and we were told there were two hundred fighters available for this particular advance, that’s not bad, two hundred was good for the Middle East. We reached a stage where as I say we were a bit short of pilots and aircraft
so instead of having to patrol on a particular day, and if the date if you want it I can give it to you. Our squadron was put on the defensive of Tobruk area in other words we just had to sit on the ground and be prepared to go off as necessary. I was on the first shift from dawn to
midday and I came off the shift and went down to the Mess for lunch or something and I think it was Bobby Gibbs who came down to see me and he said, “We were rather short of pilots and we have got to do a patrol this afternoon, will you come out with us?”,
I was C Flight but see Bobby was B Flight. I said, “All right”. We took off about ten of us I think Nicky Bar says in his book, have you heard of Nicky Bar, I’ve got his book there anyway. I was reading it to refresh my mind and I was only doing it yesterday.
The job we had was to fly out as far as an aerodrome called El Martuba which is quite close to the Gulf of Bomba and it’s getting up into Cyrenaica [Libya]
and I should point out that the weather had been wet.
and he was a famous German pilot [credited with 158 kills] and he had six victories before breakfast one day in the Middle East. The weather was moving westward so that it just about reached to Gulf of Bomba moving west. We were told that we were going out as less than squadron strength and
we’d do just one sweep over that area and we’d come home because we were going as less than a squadron. On the way out I could see streams of bombers coming back, streams of bombers escorted by fighters and every now and again you’d see 109s attacking them, but we were coming and we stayed well to one side. They wouldn’t attack us
because we were just fighters and we weren’t going to do any damage. We came in over the Gulf of Bomba and there we ran into wispy cloud, it was sort of darkish, the cloud wasn’t darkish but because of all the cloud that was about. It was beautiful I don’t know whether you’ve ever seen wispy cloud
but it’s a bit of cloud and a bit of wisp there and it’s glorious. We came over this El Martuba and we were told that there would be no fighters, the German air force would have gone right back to Benghazi. I had never seen so many aircraft on the ground in all my life. Have you ever looked down on top of an ants nest, not these little black ants but the big ones, we that’s what it looked
like and I thought, “God, we lost a couple of blokes from the flight just getting in there”, getting in that far because of the cloud and various other reasons. By this time I’d been leading the left hand section which normally four but it was down to one and we were down to myself at this stage.
Flying around a bit, eventually I nearly collided with a Tomahawk and a 109, I don’t know which one was following which but I followed both of them anyway, and then eventually I saw another Tomahawk being chased by a 109 up there and I thought, “I’ve got to knock that 109 down”, so I flew up towards him, and I
looked back and down there was another 109, really pulling down hard, it’s a beautiful sight. Because of the atmospheric conditions and the fact that he was probably flying at maximum lift coefficient, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Two beautiful silver streams coming of his wing tips, have you ever seen this?
and it hit me and it caused me to slightly bunt and then the fourth round hit now I’ve got a model of an airplane there to show you. I had the canopy half way back and I didn’t have my goggles on because it was hard to see in the conditions. The canopy is half way back because I’d been flying partly in rain and I
wanted to be able to see out to the sides. The fourth round just hit the front bow and it put a little dent in it like that, and I will tell you why I know all this later. That round was a twenty millimetre that exploded on my head it was only about that far away from it and the hole there is gradually closed up, but various things happened all at once.
My head was filled with fragments, these two rounds burst the fuel lines of the engine and ignited the fuel which came up through the cockpit, so the cockpit is burning and my windscreen
was blown out, blown away from the top bow and fortunately it curled forward like this because it was held at the bottom. The other plate of glass in the front of the Tomahawk was separate from the windscreen, it was behind it because it was an afterthought from the Americans when they sold them to England.
By curling out by that, have you ever seen a ship’s bridge? Where they have something to keep the air going like that? I immediately knew that I’d have to get out because the airplane was burning so I went to undo my strap and pulled the pin out and at that instant I became unconscious,
just before I became unconscious, I thought, “Oh, thank goodness, I’ll be dead before I hit, I won’t feel it”, this was what I’d thought. I’m lying there and burning, and my face was just burning, cooking.
explosive rounds had ignited the petrol but once that was finished the flame had gone out. I get the thing out of the spin, but my eyes, this eye was closed completely and this eye was closed but I managed to squeeze it open and I saw the Gulf of Bomba was out on my left so therefore I was heading south which was better than flying into the sea.
Then I realised I was going straight down, having come out of the spin I was still going down. I was only a couple thousand feet when I was hit so if I pulled it out, if I pulled the aircraft out of the dive I might not fly into the ground. I pulled it out of the dive and I still hadn’t hit the ground and my
eye had closed up, so I’m blind now but I can feel things and so I pulled the airplane up until it just started to reach it’s stalling speed, because you can feel all these things and then I put the nose down a little bit until it built up speed and then like that and eventually I felt the air scoop hit the ground and I just flattened it out and skidded to a stop. I tried to get out,
I hadn’t disconnected anything, I just had to get out of the cockpit and I tried to get out, but of course the hood was only half open so I was struck there and I had to get back and open the hood and disconnect the oxygen and the intercom lead and I got out with the parachute on
and stood beside the airplane and tried to open this eye a little bit with my glove and look around, and I couldn’t see anything and it was getting pretty close to dark. I couldn’t hear, I was deafened from this explosion, which had just happened up here I couldn’t hear.
My next reaction was to take my helmet off, and of course when I took my helmet off immediately there was a mass of blood flowing everywhere and I thought, “God, now I’ll bleed to death, I’ve got to the ground and now I’m going to bleed to death”. I always flew with a yellow silk scarf and I took it off and wound it around my head, you might think that’s a funny thing to do but my reason
was if the blood just piles up inside at the top of it, it would self-congeal and would stop me from bleeding. These were thoughts and I’d found a twist at this stage. Then I thought, “I cant see anybody coming for me, I might as well as see if I can walk home”.
This would have been a long walk of course. I had in mind that the army, this was an advance by the army, so the army was still going to come up towards where I was and if I could walk towards where they were coming from we might meet up and I’d be right. I opened the hatch in
the rear of the fuselage where there was a container was I suppose had rations in it and should have had a tin of bully beef and a block of chocolate and a pack or two of dog biscuits.
That doesn’t sound very appetising. The bully beef was the highest quality of beef that you could have, it had been canned in Argentina in World War I, believe it or not and it was beautiful, because I’d had it before at another stage. The chocolate was a block, about
three or four inches square and about half an inch thick, and you needed a hammer to break a little chip off it, but it was the sweetest chocolate that I’ve ever tasted in my life. The dog biscuits are the most nutritious, have you ever had them? Nutritious, they’re marvellous, the only trouble is
you need a hammer to break a piece off. I put these into my battle dress, I didn’t have the meat the troops had pinched that or someone had pinched it but I did have the dog biscuits and the chocolate. I thought, “No one’s come out to pick me up so I might as well as see which way to walk”. By now it
was dark and I tried to squint up at the stars through one eye, I didn’t recognise the stars and I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know which way to walk. The pain of this burning was so severe that I could only walk into wind and the wind was coming from the east so that meant if I walked in that direction I was right.
So after a couple of hours, things were just getting too much for me and fortunately I wasn’t wearing flying boots, the fur lined ones, I was wearing desert boots. Because we’d been told that the fur lined flying boots would get sweat in them and you couldn’t walk far because they’d just break up, so we’d thrown them aside and we didn’t fly in them.
It was getting cold, I could feel the cold because I’d taken my gloves off and poked them into my pocket and I thought, “I’ve got to stop, I’ve got no water”, and that was another things that was missing from the pack. “I’ve got no water and I’m thirsty
and I’m tired, I’ve got to stop”. So I walked until I ran into a rather big thicket and at that stage I thought I’ll open one of the maps that I was carrying and I’ll put it into one of the smallish bushes
and it might catch some dew. Then because I’m so cold, I’ll pull the parachute and I’ll sleep in the silk. Well that was all right accept I wasn’t getting any water, and I couldn’t stop I just had to keep moving to keep a little bit of
a draft. I started to walk and at dawn I was in a fairly open area and again all I could see was out of one eye and I’m still deaf, but been careful to look around all the time. All of a sudden over on the rise
I saw a German scout car, and it had stopped and it was stationary. It must have been that the people on it must have been looking at me. I hadn’t said that what I was doing, was carrying my parachute over my shoulder, and it’s pulled open and a bundle of white stuff and I stopped
and I then took about two minutes to shrink from standing to about that, because the camel thorn bushes are about that high you see. I think that the Germans must’ve thought that I was an Arab, at that distance in a brown battle dress and this white thing over my shoulder and my head was so dark and if they had glasses on me
they may have thought that I was an Arab, just one of them just wondering around. Eventually they moved off, so I kept moving in that direction. It must have been about midday and I came over a rise and there was a small stream and I thought ,“I’ll get some liquid here”,
so I went down and I stood in the stream and the water was only about that deep, but it was mainly puddles. I saw then, because I could smell, I saw then that it was a bit foamy and it had a funny look and not much of a nice smell.
It was about this time that on the other bank an Arab had appeared with a rifle pointing at me and remembering the opening the opening words of my gooly chip, do you know what that is? I’ll tell you in a moment. I said something
which in Arabic was an English flying officer, and it goes on, “If you look after me and get me back to my people you will get one hundred golden sovereigns”. That’s what I could read, and there was also the same thing in Arabic, in Arabic print that’s what I mean. So he indicated to me that I was to climb the bank to were he was
and he took, and I still had my revolver and webbing belt on and he indicated that he wanted that and I gave it to him, because I knew that I couldn’t do anything else. He opened the revolver, which was wrapped in an oily rag to keep the sand out, and he saw that it was English, I’ll tell you why that’s
important. He indicated that he’d look after me in one way or another. I discovered that just over the top of this bank was a big patch of ground about one hundred yards square which was cleared of camel thorn, there were piles of camel thorn around the boundary and
he and two other people were planting a crop. This was going to be a crop, because the rains had past through there and the ground was a bit soft. I could see that he wanted the one hundred golden sovereigns and he was going to look after me. So he took me over to the edge of the field and pulled away some of the camel thorn bush, a big bush of camel thorn and it was about this high
and pushed me under there and he got a blanket which he threw over me, and then threw the camel thorn over me and I stayed there until late in the afternoon.
Anyway, late in the afternoon he pulled me out of the camel thorn bush and took me up to a rise, which was a rocky rise a sort of round crop of rock and they had a dish in it. The other two Arabs were there and they were cooking. What they had was I had my
my arms around and they were going to serve you and they had a bowl about that size which they got from somewhere because in those days we rarely had wooden bowls, we only had field dishes but this was a wooden bowl and they cooked up a mass of macaroni or something like that. They probably got this from
looted Italian stores. They had this and I’m sitting over here and the three of them were sitting there and they started to eat and then they beckoned me over and they divided this mess, this bowl of macaroni into four and they indicated that one fourth was for me.
In those days I didn’t realise that the Arabs used their right hand to eat, you knew this, fortunately, I use my right hand. Then night came on and I suppose it must have been about
nine, ten or eleven and the night was as black as anything. This fellow who had picked me up then took me down to the flat where they had been preparing to plant their crop and there was a baby camel. I could sense all this because I could feel things.
That’s why the water was so polluted, they had this camel. He indicated that I was to get on the camel behind him, the camel’s kneeling and he hops onto it and he indicated that I was to get on behind and hold him because you’ve seen the shape of a camel, you’ve got his neck there and then you’d come up to a hump and it slides down to his tail, and I was to sit on this sliding bit
and holding him like that. That camel was a bit bright, it was prepared to carry one, but not prepared to carry two. He couldn’t get it to stand on its feet. So eventually he indicated that I was to hand on with my hands like that around the hump and my legs were spread out over the backside. That way he took me through the Germans lines that night.
Now and again he stop and he’d walk away and he’d indicate to the camel to keep walking and now and again I could hear noises and eventually the chap would come together again with the camel and I must have been asleep half of the time, and I didn’t quite know what was happening.
A couple of hours before dawn perhaps the camel gave a grunt and fell to its belly and I just fell off. I’m lying on the ground and my body had seized from the navel down. I’m lying on the ground with my legs up in the air, because I had no feel from here down and I’d just
seized up from a result of sitting on this camel.
A couple of fellows carried me into a tent, it was a tent that belonged to this chief Arab I’ve been talking about and his wife. He and his wife spread a carpet on the desert floor
and he had some other carpets and he indicated to me to lie down there on it, and gradually I was getting a bit of blood back into my legs, and I could straighten them out a bit. Then his wife laid down a little bit away from and he got in between his wife and me
and his rifle, I don’t know whether he had the rifle between himself and me or between himself and his wife, then they pulled up this other carpet and at that stage I discovered that those carpets had the biggest fleas in them that I’d ever seen.
They must’ve been about that big and they started to bite and that just sent me out. In the morning when I woke up and they started to feed me, and I cant even remember what I ate. The Arab pointed out that the Germans had moved through their camp during the night,
and he pointed and said, “That corner”, and you’d see it and you were outside the tent and you could see the tank tracks, on the corner of his tent, and we were this far away from it, I didn’t wake up for that, but he knew it. I stayed a couple of days there, I’d have to look at my diary to get these things right. Eventually,
I think it was the same day, he took me up to the rim of this depression in which the camp was it was quite a big camp I can assure you, I don’t know how many tents but it was what I would call a big camp. He indicated that he was going to show me the Germans, and he managed to talk to me somehow, but I can’t quite remember how. He said “I’ll show them to you”,
and he put a big Arab burnoose onto me and took me up to the edge of the depression and again I’ve still only got one eye slightly open. He said, “Over there”, and I couldn’t see a thing, I mean with one eye.
that these desert dwellers had, and so I came back. When I came back I saw a bloke in English battle dress. I looked at him and thought, “Geez, I don’t know what this is’, and it turned out that he had been a driver of one of the long range desert group trucks that had
been unfortunately waylaid when they had gone up to attack some part of the Germans up in that area. He’d been picked up by the Arabs, he’d escaped and he come south to where the Arabs were and they’d taken him in. He was going to be paid for by the British when he got back. So they had this bloke
I wouldn’t have been surprised they hadn’t had a German as well and they would’ve got some money from the Germans too. The pair of us were there and the next day the Arab let me walk around the camp a bit, and I was starting to feel a little bit better, but I didn’t have the burning pains still around here, I’ve still got this scarf on looking like death warmed up.
As I walked around the camp, I came to a tent which had an awning out the front of it, typically Arab, they had a tent and then they have an awning for outside seating. There was a carpet on the ground and sitting on this carpet was a young women
whose age I wouldn’t know, but she was certainly into her middle teens. Barefooted and she smiled at me, didn’t laugh she just smiled.
God, I can see it now. Not a smile of pity, a sheer smile of sheer friendship. One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, and ever seen in my life. So I sat down and watched her and I was told by again this fellow who had picked me up
that the tribe was moving west hoping that the army would keep going west because she was betrothed to a fellow from another tribe who were in the west, and when they got there she was to be married. Whether he trusted me or not, I don’t know, eventually a very old Arab
found his way into where we were and he sat down and I think he was just acting as a chaperone, god that women was beautiful. With in a couple of days the army got far enough west and I
was put on a donkey, and the whole tribe came out and here we were joining up with the army, they were going to hand me over to the army. An armoured car came up and I hopped off and I said, “I want to get back to my squadron”, and the bloke looked at me, and I think he was going to shoot me over that and he asked me another couple of questions
and he said, “Right-o, hang on”, and I’m on the side of this armoured car hanging onto the aerial. The aerial was spring-loaded and this great big aerial and it was swinging like this at the truck and it was bouncing and swaying like this. A bit later he handed me over to the contingent of doctors and there were about twelve doctors, in this bit of the army
which was the 7th Indian Division, all Indian troops, wonderful but they were white doctors. They wanted to attend to me, I said, “Oh no, no see you”, I was going to eat with them at night,
and you wouldn’t believe this, but the army was going to settle down for the night and the doctors stopped on a bit of a rise and I watched the troops coming forward and then all of a sudden a group of ambulances, and there must have been, I wouldn’t know how many, if I say six I could be wrong, it could
be ten, they came up together. They were surrounded by a square of these Indians, great bearded characters in trucks. I was standing on the rise with one of the doctors and said, “Why are you protecting all those ambulances?”, and he said
“Where do you think we keep the explosive tank ammunition?” As it got dark, the doctor’s servants set up a table, out in the open and set up a table with a white table cloth and chairs came out, beautiful padded chairs, polished
glasses on the table and the places were set with silver. We dined, we could have been in the grandest hotel. When these doctors wanted to relieve themselves they would whistle up one of the Indian servants and he’d have a little folding seat and a shovel and then go out into the desert and dig
a hole and he’d plonk himself down, I’ll tell you they were living like kings. The next morning the doctors indicated to me that there would be a truck going back to where I wanted to go, back towards Tobruk and they said, “We’ve got to have an early breakfast, you have breakfast later”. I was waiting in the Mess tent, and it was a big tent that was set up, a beautiful tent, and it was a Mess tent for all the officers
to eat in. An old character came out of another tent and came inside and he had a few tabs and things on and it didn’t mean much to me, all I wanted to do was to get back to the squadron. I sat down and had breakfast with him and he asked me who I was and what I was, and I was sore now and sorry
and a bit bloody naïve and I started to tick the army off. Me telling the General what I thought was going on, I can laugh now when I think about it, but it was bloody childish. Then later after breakfast they put me into a truck it was going back with an equipment officer back towards Tobruk where I wanted to go
that was where I thought I had to go. This was a brand new Ford truck, not a pickup truck but three-toner or something, brand spanking new. We did four tyres in about three miles, the Yanks were palming off onto the Brits the most rubbishy stuff and of course they were making a fortune out of it, not really because I think the
jeeps during the war use to cost about ten dollars or something, or ten pounds it may have been. Eventually we got back to the squadron and got to El Adem Aerodrome and there was some of the squadron, the doctor and a few other people
and they asked me what had been happening, and I said I’d been shot down and had had all these experiences and so the doc said, “Let’s have a look at you”, and I’ve still got this bandage and thing on and I had a little medical pack
the Arabs had given back my webbing with the revolver and the little medical pack. Immediately the doctor opened it and said, “Have you been taking any morphine?”, because we had two little morphine pills if you couldn’t stand the pain and you could give yourself a needle, but that was all that he was interested in and he said, “Have you taken any of that morphine?”, and I gave it to him and he said, “That’s good”.
I remember I got out of my uniform and I used another uniform and sort of washed myself a little bit and then he got a basin, a metal basin they were in those days and he started to wash me, and I’ve got my head of this basin and I could hear ‘dink, dink, dink’, there was all these bits of metal
coming out of the congealed blood. Then he washed me and then put Tanafax on my burns. Tanafax was the recognised method for treating burns, it’s a greasy substance and it dries hard, and it’s the worst thing that can happen. It causes the flesh underneath it to
rot and you know to just put pressure on this great big scab over my eyes. It used to send me mad almost. Then he said, “We’ve got to get you right, because Wolfy is going to be married”, he was going to marry Lucille in the cathedral in Alexandria. Wolfy was
Wolf Arthur, you’ve probably never heard of Wolf, he was a very famous fighter pilot in 3 Squadron and by New Guinea and he died just a couple of years ago up in Darwin.
Lucille was a Greek Armenian, beautiful, a beautiful lass, she was only about eighteen or nineteen when Wolf married her. Wolfy was only about a year older than I. The doc was to be his best man and they had wanted me to be at the wedding because
as the doc pointed out that it was suppose to be my last flight, and I should not have been on it, but it was the last day and I’d only gone because they were short of pilots. Wolfy, after I’d been missing had been doing patrols on his own looking for me and to see what might’ve happened. They managed to get me down to Alexandria and
we were staying in the Cecil Hotel, on top of the Ottoman Bank anyway, do you know it?
They were trying to form their first squadrons, the fighters, to operate out of Moresby and also my CO who I originally I called the signaller had come home, he’d been sent home a little bit ahead of when I came. To reorganise the defences of Singapore, because
Air Chief Marshall [Arthur] Tedder [AOC Mediterranean] reckoned that his knowledge and experience of warfare in the desert was unique, and so because of Tedder he was sent to Singapore. But Singapore fell, so he came back to Australia and he formed the 75 Squadron the first one into New Guinea, and the 76 Squadron the second one and only formed them then handed them over to their
commanding officers. He then formed the number 2 OTU, which was the fighter operation training unit at Port Pirie, we then managed to persuade the air force to give us five Kittyhawks which we picked up and flew from a paddock between the Ford factory and the International Harvester factory down at Geelong.
I don’t know whether you’ve ever seen it, but it’s a tiny little spot. These airplanes had been assembled but had never been test flown, and to add it to which we had only flown a Kittyhawk once in the Middle East, so we were a bit new. We took them to Port Pirie and a couple of weeks later we went to Mildura which was built
as an OTU, just being built. It was pretty rough and no hot water and the mess had a floor in the dining room but elsewhere the floor hadn’t been built. We use to sit on the floor beams at night talking and drinking by the light of kerosene lamps,
and particularly talking because at that stage we just received some people from England.
At what point did you marry?
Long after that, after I’d left the university, long after that. When I was sailing, Merv used to say, “What are you going to do now that you are out of the air force?”, and I said, “I don’t know”, and I said, “Can you give me any recommendations?”, and Merv had gone to Sydney University and I think he was
a civil engineer, he may have been a mechanical engineer. He said, “Why don’t you go to university and study something, study aeronautical engineering”. I said, “All right”, so I applied to do engineering through the CRTS, the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. The Commonwealth after the war
was putting so many people through university. I applied and they said, “We can’t investigate you properly, go to the university and start sitting in on engineering lectures”, I did this for about a fortnight. Then I came out and I said, “Look, it’s a bit hard, my mind is just not
conditioned to study, yet”, and they said “Look, if you want you can put it off for a year”, and I said, “That’s good, I’ll do some private study and I pay for some lessons from various people”, which I did. Then I went back to the university after a year’s break. I didn’t past the first year, I failed in a couple of subjects which they let me take
again while I did some of the subjects for the second year. It took me an extra year to get through uni. Then I decided to study aero engineering which they reckoned was about the hardest course there was and in fact the first year, I think there had been about thirty graduates and the year I went though
the numbers had dropped off and I think we had about six or eight.
Another thing I was going to say about this was when I was at Mildura we had a lot a different sections with an adjutant in each one. Pete Jeffery who had been my CO in the Middle East and was from Mildura use to have to write a report on each officer every three months for promotional purposes. The adjutants of the different
sections had to write a report on their own staff, not commissioned officers but their own workers, for promotion. The boss discovered, that’s Pete Jeffery, he discovered after a while that the fellows who didn’t have the same ability in his opinion nor the background, but some of the people from his
squadron had, fellows who’d come home were being specially recommended over and above these fellows that the boss knew that were very good. He went into this and discovered that all those adjutants were Roman Catholics and all the people that they recommended were Roman Catholics so he had all the adjutants moved out just like that. At the end of the
war, all units were told to have a sort of a thanksgiving service, and we all lined up in parade and there was going to be a few words for thanksgiving by the priest, but not for the Roman Catholics, they had to fall out. I was amazed they fell out but they didn’t want
to. That’s what I mean about religion, it’s unfortunate and I think religion is one of the things that can break up society so easily. I merely say that I think it will happen, or that it does happen that way,
not that I despise people for it, that’s how they think fare enough they are entitled to think. They’ve got brains between their ears then that’s the way they think, well fair enough.