(O3593 / 4644) Kenneth Norman McRae as a squadron leader, 3 Squadron RAAF, interviewed by Edward Stokes for The Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the War of 1939-1945

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Accession Number S00935
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 43 min 31 sec
Object type Oral history
Physical description audio cassette; TDK AD60; two track mono
Maker McRae, Kenneth Norman
Stokes, Edward
Date made 7 May 1990
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to The Keith Murdoch Sound Archive of Australia in the war of 1939-45
Description

Early life; joined Naval Reserve, Garrison Artillery and Citizen’s Air Force; joined Air Force in March 1936; reasons for enlisting; training as a fitter; outbreak of war; departed Australia with 3rd Reinforcements for 3 Squadron, March 1942 on the Dilwara; voyage; arrival in Egypt; joining 3 Squadron; bombing raids over the camp; appointed chief engineering officer; modifications to aircraft; END PART ONE
Working with pilots; problems with over-revving engines; effect of fear on pilots and ground staff; relationship with his men; conditions they worked in; dust affecting engine performance; process of doing an engine change; retreat from Gambut; accidently driving up to the front line; getting spare parts; P40E Kittyhawks replacing Tomahawks; pay and promotions; miscommunication meant people at home thought he’d been killed; advance from Amiriya; set up of a camp; air strips; acquiring a German 109G Messerschmitt; Bobby Gibbes; using other foreign aircraft which they’d salvaged END OF PART TWO

Risk of burns from use of petrol to clean engines; move to Tripoli and Tunis; Japanese entering the war; Malta; relationship with some RAF units; Sicily; civilian Italians; visiting Italian friends in 1977; Italian campaign; photographer Laurence Le Guay; converted to Mustangs; discussion of the different 3 Squadron commanding officers; differences between Australian, US, British and Free French squadrons; clean-skinned aircraft (no markings); closeness of Squadron mates; END OF PART THREE

End of the war; preparations for going home; reflections on the Desert War being “a good place to have a war”; Malaya 1950-51; wartime vs peacetime Air Force career END OF INTERVIEW

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