Volume I – Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 (1st edition, 1962)

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Author: Gillison, Douglas Napier

This volume is concerned mainly with the air war against Japan from December 1941 to the end of the first quarter of 1943 when air superiority was first wrested from the Japanese. It describes particularly the experiences and achievements of the Australian airmen who fought as integrated RAAF units or as members of units of the British and American air forces in Malaya, Burma, the East Indies and under General MacArthur in the South–West Pacific.

In both time and geography the scope is wide. The opening chapters describe the genesis of the Royal Australian Air Force, its history between the wars and the problems of the development of the force in Australia and the Far Eastern theatre before the Japanese onslaught opened.

It has been necessary to look back to the very beginnings of aviation in Australia – as far back as 1909 – and to extend the frame of the whole picture to include all the essential outside influences. There is thus a concentration on 43 months of war set within an over–all time span of more than 30 years.