78144 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard Victor Waters, 78 Squadron, RAAF, sitting in the cockpit of a P40N Kittyhawk, possibly 'Black Magic'. Sgt Waters was the only known Australian Aboriginal fighter pilot ...
ID numberP01659.001
Collection typePhotograph
Object typeBlack & white - Film copy negative
MakerUnknown
Place madePacific Ocean: South West Pacific
Date made1944 - 1945
Description78144 Sergeant (Sgt) Leonard Victor Waters, 78 Squadron, RAAF, sitting in the cockpit of a P40N Kittyhawk, possibly 'Black Magic'. Sgt Waters was the only known Australian Aboriginal fighter pilot of 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 1 Elementary Flying Training School (1EFTS), Narrandera, NSW, before graduating as a Sgt pilot from 5 Service Flying Training School (5SFTS), Uranquinty, NSW. His training continued at 2 Operational Training Unit (2OTU), Mildura, Vic, from where he was posted to 78 Squadron on 14 November 1944. He flew 95 operational sorties with 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 25 August 1993.