Aptly named after the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’, meaning ‘through adversity to the stars’, a new exhibition featuring veteran treasured memorabilia has launched at Anzac Memorial to celebrate the RAAF’s 100th birthday.
Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said the exhibition is a celebration of RAAF personnel past and present, and a way to recognise the service and sacrifice of those who have helped to shape the modern force we know today.
“Australia was among the first nations to create an independent branch of its defence forces dedicated to military aviation in 1921”, Mr Lee said.
“From 1920s aerial survey flights to modern peacekeeping, every individual who has served over the past 100 years has contributed to the vital defence service of our nation and helped to form the state-of-the-art force we know today.”
Visitors can view invaluable items such as souvenirs of a pilot who bombed German positions at Hamel just days before a battle that influenced the Great War outcome.
The Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to Flight Lieutenant Doug Millar for his daring low-level flight will also be on display, along with an extremely rare Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force uniform worn by a nurse at the RAAF Hospital in Tocumwal.
The commemoration is a partnership between the NSW Air Force Association on its 101st birthday and the Anzac Memorial Board of Trustees. In addition to the launch of the RAAF Centenary exhibition, the event also included a ceremony and the donation of the RAAF Memorial Book to the Royal United Services Institute of NSW Library of Military History.