Embroidered cushion : Flying Officer P C Firkins, 460 Squadron, RAAF

Place Europe
Accession Number REL33106
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton; Silk
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Description

Cream silk covered cushion embroidered on one side with '460 Squadron George' and the names operations and specific towns that were the targets of bombing raids in which Flying Officer P C Firkins took part; Kassel, Bremen, Pforsheim, Cologne, Weisbaden, Zeitz, Ludwigshaven, Kiel Bay, Gardening, Heligoland, Dresden, Gardening Heligo Bay, Mannheim, Chemnitz, Essen, Duisburg, Bremen, Lutzkendorf, Kiel Bay, Gardening, Berchtesgaden, Dessau, Dortmund, Hannau, Misburg, Herne, Politz, Merseburg.

History / Summary

Cushion sewn by Dolly, the second cousin of Flying Officer Peter Charles Firkins, 460 Squadron, RAAF. Firkins saw Dolly frequently while serving in the United Kingdom, and the cushion was sewn by her to commemorate his service over Europe. It shows the operations and specific towns that were the targets of bombing raids in which he took part. 'Gardening' is not a specific location, but was the allied code name given to mine laying missions in enemy waters. Born in 1925, Firkins was educated at Guildford Grammar School, Western Australia. In 1943, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force and served as an NCO rear gunner with 460 Squadron, RAAF. He had completed his tour of twenty-nine operations and received his commission before he turned nineteen. He became the historian of 460 Squadron and wrote the unit's history, 'Strike and Return' as well as several other widely read military history books, including 'The Australians in Nine Wars'. An active and prominent member of the Perth business community, Peter Firkins died at his home in Perth in late 2002.