Air Vice Marshal Billie Hicks Collings AO AFC (Rtd) as a pilot No 77 Fighter Squadron RAAF, Korea 1953-1954, interviewed by Dr Chris Clark

Accession Number S02783
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 30 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF SM 468; 15 ips/38 cm.s; two track mono; 10 inch NAB
Maker Collings, Billie Hicks
Clark, Christopher D
Australian War Memorial
Preston, Lenny
Date made 28 June 2002
Access Open
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
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 AWM Oral History Program

Billie Collings talks about: his enlisting in the RAAF; flying training and his being posted to No.77 Squadron, Iwakuni, Japan.; the inadequacies of flying training at the time; Air Force attitude towards College graduates in the fifties; living conditions at Kimpo, Korea, from which No. 77 Squadron operated; flying frequency and types of missions; flying Meteors at low level; pilot fatalities; pilot rescues; pilot seniority; flying in a formation of sixteen aircraft and the tribulations of being Tail-End Charlie; a forced landing; his Mention in Dispatches; Meteor armaments; recreation at Kimpo and in officers' messes, generally; aerial attacks on Kimpo; relations with the Americans and civilian Koreans; escape and evasion training; the end of his tour in Korea; a comparison of casualty rates between the services; his home coming and posting to Williamstown; his experiences as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) instructor and at Central Flying School (CFS); his views on the phasing out of GCA (Ground Controlled Approach) in the RAAF, an the value of operational experience.

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