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Parsons Thomas Lewis 409436

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual

Date of arrival 1942
Date of departure 1942

In June 2008, the Mallala Museum Committee advertised in the Vet Affairs newspaper for information, photos and memorabillia relating to the 6 SFTS at Mallala during 1941 - 1945 and also for the years until the sale of the RAAF Base in 1960. The committee members were astounded and delighted to receive 35 replies. The following is one of the replies written with permission of the writer Tom Parsons.

Reminiscence: "I was posted to No 6 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) on 6th April 1942 and was there until I graduated as a Sgt. Pilot on 27th June 1942. I was in No 20 Course. I was caught up in the period when the Japanese bombed Darwin and the R.A.A.F. were not sure where they wanted the available pilots. The problem was that there were not enough aircraft in Australia, so we were sent to England, and eventually I flew again in February 1943.

They called it an Advanced Flying Unit (AFU). From there I was posted to a Pilots Instructor School at Montrose in Scotland, commissioned as an Officer and commenced as an instructor on "Oxfords" from 10th June 1943 to 20th November 1944. From there I flew Wellington Bombers and then Mosquitoes in No 139 Pathfinder Squadron.

The war was ending by this time so I only managed to fly 10 missions over Germany before the war in Europe ended. On each of these we were coned in searchlights and subjected to flak and fighters from above. I departed England on 29th June 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant and was terminated in my appointment in December 1945."

Tom went on to say " I have a soft spot for Mallala and the points around where we did our cross-country training - Kangaroo Island etc."

Tom Parsons sent a copy of the photo of the No 20 course graduation which the Mallala Museum members were grateful to receive. Tom obtained his Private Pilots licence and was fit enough to use it until a great age. He hopes that some one from No 20 course will add information and make a contact via this site.

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