IN SEPTEMBER 1939, HAVING GRADUATED from Point Cook in Victoria in June 1938, I was a Flying Officer in No 3 (Army Cooperation) Squadron at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Station Richmond NSW, doing my tour as Adjutant.
I was in the officer's mess with other colleagues when the mess president came in. He was a Wing Commander, perhaps in his early forties. The RAAF was more formal in those days and we all stood for him.
It turned out the occasion was to hear Australian prime minister Robert Menzies “melancholy duty” announcement on the wireless that Australia was at war with Germany.
Next morning I was told to go to Station Headquarters and report to a Flight Lieutenant Alexander, then on the staff of the station commander, Group Captain Hipolyte Ferdinand de la Rue.