P40 N-15 Kittyhawk aircraft, 'Black Magic', (HU-E), so named by 411271 Flight Lieutenant Denis ...

Accession Number P02808.001
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film duplicate negative
Maker Unknown
Place made Pacific Ocean: South West Pacific
Date made 1944 - 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


P40 N-15 Kittyhawk aircraft, 'Black Magic', (HU-E), so named by 411271 Flight Lieutenant Denis Russell Baker, DFC, 78 Squadron, RAAF, who initially flew this aircraft. Whilst flying 'Black Magic', Baker, was credited with shooting down the last Japanese aircraft over New Guinea.

'Black Magic' was later flown by 78144 Sergeant (Sgt) (later Warrant Officer) Leonard Victor (Len) Waters, 78 Squadron. Sgt Waters was one of a small number of Aboriginal pilots known to have served in the Second World War. He joined the RAAF on 24 August 1942 and was trained as a flight mechanic. When the RAAF called for aircrew trainees he applied and was accepted for pilot training. He undertook his initial training at No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School (1EFTS), Narrandera, NSW, before graduating as a Sgt pilot from No. 5 Service Flying Training School (5SFTS), Uranquinty, NSW. His training continued at No. 2 Operational Training Unit (2OTU), Mildura, Vic, from where he was posted to No. 78 Squadron on 14 November 1944. He flew 54 operational sorties and 41 strikes with No. 78 Squadron, operating from Noemfoor, Morotai and Tarakan. Sgt Waters was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 1 January 1945 and to Warrant Officer on 1 January 1946. He was discharged from the RAAF on 18 January 1946. Leonard Waters died on 24 August 1993.