Biography

Birth date: 21 May 1915
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Caulfield
Death date: 16 July 1999
Death place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Final rank: Flying Officer
Service number: 41616 - Second World War, 1939-1945

Harold Freedman was born in Caulfield, Victoria, in 1915. He studied at the Melbourne Technical College from 1929 to 1935, and from 1936 he worked as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist.

During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section, along with Eric Thake and Max Newton. He worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

The Memorial has a large collection of paintings produced by the RAAF artists, which were distributed between RAAF bases and the Memorial after war.

In 1968 the Memorial commissioned Freedman to produce a large mural depicting the history of Australian military aviation. The mural took five years to complete and features every aircraft used by the RAAF up until the Vietnam War. On completion of the mural Freedman was appointed to the unique position of Official State Artist for Victoria, which he held from 1972 to 1983. During this appointment he produced more large-scale murals, including the Cavalcade of transport in the main hall of Spencer Street Station and The History of racing at Flemington Racecourse.

Rolls and Awards

Collection Items

Art

Creatures of the air

Bell Airacobra dumped at Moresby take on an atmosphere of strange bird-like creatures of another age. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo,...

ART26771

Consummatum Est

Consummatum est - (It is finished). Crashed aircraft stand gauntly in a graveyard at Port Moresby, their forms symbolising the sacrifice of the men who flew them. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records...

ART26772

Swapping yarns

Depicts a group of unidentified men sitting in lighted tent. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26773

Maintenance

Extreme weather conditions in the tropics made it necessary for aircraft under repair to be protected at all times and any "scrounged" material was put to this use. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War...

ART26774

Wireless telegraphy operators

Unidentified Wireless Telegraphy Operators, RAAF. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26775

Tent Life

Depicts an unidentified man sitting in lighted tent. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26778

Radar ops

Depicts two unidentified radar operators, Fighter Control Unit, using a Light Weight Air Warning (LW/AW) radar. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in...

ART26779

Jackson's 7 Mile Drome

The original "Seven Mile" drome at Port Moresby, later named after Squadron Leader J.F. Jackson, DFC, of 75 Squadron, who was killed on a mission from this airstrip. Treacherous Owen Stanley Ranges form a rugged background. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed...

ART26780

SWY, two pennies and a kip

A group of men gathered around spinner during game of two up. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26781

"ERK"

Depicts a portrait of an unidentified airman of No. 1 Airfield Construction Squadron seated. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and...

ART26782

Electrical section

Disused floodlights at No. 1 Airfield Construction Squadron, Electrical Section. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around...

ART26783

Night maintenance

Royal Australian Air Force, No 37 Squadron; unidentified ground crew repairing damage to Douglas transport aircraft caused during supply dropping to prisoners of war in. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War...

ART26784

Man in cape

Depicts a soldier standing wearing a cape. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26785

Moresby Marine Section

Depicts a drawing of Port Moresby Marine Section. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26786

Study at night

Depicts an unidentified man sitting in tent reading. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26978

Kittyhawk inspection

Depicts unidentified ground crew working on Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk aircraft. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26979

Gravel pit

Depicts a gravel pit with truck and heavy earth moving equipment. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26980

Wrecked building, Tarakan

Wrecked building. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26982

Rain

Depicts an aircraft in the distance on the ground during heavy rain. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26983

Pile of main planes at repair and salvage unit, Noemfoor

Pile of main planes at repair and salvage unit. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ART26984

Beaufighter pilot

Depicts Captain Robert McIntosh Wemyss (MID), No. 30 Squadron, flying a Beaufighter. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked there from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around...

ART26985

Beaufighter navigator

Navigator in Beaufighter aircraft, No 30 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force. The navigator is probably Richard Sydney Woodgate, service record 433244. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section...

ART26986

Thousand Bomber Strike

This is an imaginative canvas by Freedman created from a description given by Flight Lieutenant Peter Isaacson D.F.C., D.F.W., A.F.C., of the first thousand bomber raid on Cologne, Germany, May 1942. Of this work, Freedman notes; 'Cologne was one of several highly industrialised German targets...

ART26988

Pilot Officer Rawdon Middleton

Portrait of Flight Sergeant Rawdon Hume Middleton, VC, RAAF wearing B-type flying helmet, oxygen mask and Ervin jacket. He was promoted to Pilot Officer posthumously. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War...

ART26989

Wing Commander Clive Caldwell, DSO, DFC and Bar

An early product of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Clive Caldwell became a notable Spitfire fighter pilot whose air victories earned him the nickname "Killer". He served in the United Kingdom and Middle East before commanding and leading No. 1 Fighter Wing based at Darwin during 1943. He then...

ART26990

Flight Lieutenant William Newton

Portrait of Flight Lieutenant William Ellis Newton, VC, 22 Squadron RAAF. He was awarded the VC in 1943. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo,...

ART26991

Aircraftwoman, WAAAF [Gloria Gwendolyn Grace]

This is a portrait of Gloria Gwendolyn Corcoran (nee Grace) (1920-2009) who served with the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) during the Second World War, service no. 97284. The portrait was painted by Harold Freedman, who had enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) service...

ART27556

Spitfires attacking Japanese raiders over Darwin, 6 July 1943

Depicts a squadron of Supermarine Spitfires in action against Japanese aircraft over Darwin towards the end of the Second World War. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here...

ART27577

Squadron Leader Colin Milson

Portrait of Wing Commander Colin G Milson, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, Commanding Officer, 455 Squadron RAAF, wearing a service dress cap, RAAF battle dress and flying jumper. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical...

ART27642

Squadron Leader Edward Ifould

Portrait of Squadron Leader E L Ifould, DSO DFC & BAR MID, wearing B-type flying helmet, oxygen mask, observer-type parachute harness and RAAF battle dress. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records...

ART27643

Squadron Leader Jack Davenport

Portrait of Wing Commander Jack Napier Davenport, DSO, DFC and Bar, GM, Commanding Officer, 455 Squadron RAAF, wearing C-type flying helmet, oxygen mask and Irvin jacket. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War...

ART27644

Flight Lieutenant Peter Isaacson

Portrait of Wing Commander Peter Stuart Isaacson DFC, AFC, DFM (401068). Isaacson flew with 156 Squadron of the RAF. He is seen wearing his battle-dress blouse, and his Pathfinder badge below his medal ribbon bar. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war...

ART27645

Matron Margaret Lang

Margaret Irene Lang first served in Solonika with the Australian Army Nursing Service in the First World War. During the Second World War, she was Matron-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service. She completed her training at the Wangaratta District Hospital and the Women's...

ART27682

Mural of Australian military aircraft

No longer accessible to the public, this mural of Australian military aircraft was commissioned by Australian War Memorial in 1968 and completed in 1972. The galleries were redeveloped in 1999/2000, when the mural was concealed by the current displays in Aircraft Hall. Much the same as the...

ART27777

Mural of Australian military aircraft, 1914-1918 period

Mural of Australian military aircraft, 1914-1918 period. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia. In 1968 the...

ART27777.001

Mural of Australian military aircraft, early 1939-1945 period

Mural of Australian military aircraft, early 1939-1945 period. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia. In 1968...

ART27777.002

Mural of Australian military aircraft, late 1939-1945 period

Mural of Australian militery aircraft, late 1939-1945 period. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.In 1968 the...

ART27777.003

Mural of Australian military aircraft, Korea-Vietnam period

Mural of Australian military aircraft, Korea-Vietnam period. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia. In 1968 the...

ART27777.004

Drawing from "These Eagles" published 1942

Drawing by artist Harold Freedman for the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Freedman also designed a number of other...

ART28035

Flight Lieutenant Clive (Bardie) Wawn

Depicts a portrait of 400163 Flight Lieutenant Clive Newton (Bardie) Wawn, DFC, RAAF. During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around...

ART31655

Flying Boat base, Port Moresby

Depicts Catalina aircraft on standby at the flying boat base, marine section, Port Moresby, New Guinea. The Catalina aircraft produced in the United States from 1935 over ten years is a twin-engine high winged flying boat. A unique feature of the Catalina are the retractable wing-tip floats which...

ART31656

These eagles

Australian Second World War poster commissioned to promote the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Harold Freedman was also...

ARTV00781

Flight Sergeant Rawdon Middleton

During the Second World War Freedman enlisted in the RAAF and was appointed as a war artist attached to the RAAF Historical War Records Section and he worked here from 1944 to 1945, in Borneo, Noemfoor and around Australia.

ARTI00064.B

illustration for "These Eagles" dust-jacket published 1942

Design for dust cover for the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Harold Freedman was commissioned to provide designs and...

ARTI00131

design for mailing carton for "These eagles" , AWM, 1942

Design by artist Harold Freedman for a mailing carton for the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Freedman also designed a...

ARTI00751

Men of service [locomotive driver and fireman]

One of a series of eight posters by Harold Freedman commissioned by the Victorian Railways soon after the Second World War. Issued to highlight the contribution of its staff, who kept the railway operational during wartime, to the war effort as many did not have 'returned servicemen' status. The...

ARTV10237

Men of service [railway engineer]

One of a series of eight posters by Harold Freedman commissioned by the Victorian Railways soon after the Second World War. Issued to highlight the contribution of its staff, who kept the railway operational during wartime, to the war effort as many did not have 'returned servicemen' status. The...

ARTV10238

Men of service [station master]

One of a series of eight posters by Harold Freedman commissioned by the Victorian Railways soon after the Second World War. Issued to highlight the contribution of its staff, who kept the railway operational during wartime, to the war effort as many did not have 'returned servicemen' status. The...

ARTV10239

Women of Service [the porter]

One of a series of eight posters by Harold Freedman commissioned by the Victorian Railways soon after the Second World War. Issued to highlight the contribution of its staff, who kept the railway operational during wartime, to the war effort as many did not have 'returned servicemen' status. The...

ARTV10329

These eagles

Australian Second World War poster commissioned to promote the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Harold Freedman was also...

ARTV03310

These eagles

Australian Second World War poster commissioned to promote the 1942 publication "These Eagles , Story of the R.A.A.F at War' prepared by the R.A.A.F Directorate of Public Relations, published by the Australian War Memorial and printed by Halstead Press Pty Ltd., Sydney. Harold Freedman was also...

ARTV03311

Telephone exchange

This painting depicts the mundane yet essential role of communications at 80 Wing Headquarters, Telephone Exchange at Moratai. Engaged in a task colloquially known as 'spinebashing', a young officer, lying on a makeshift camp bed, reads a newspaper. The telephone exchange unit stands to the left...

ART26776

Photograph

P00925.001

MELBOURNE, VIC. C 1946. WAR ARTIST HAROLD FREEDMAN PICTURED IN HIS STUDIO. WHEN THIS PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN, FREEDMAN WAS PREPARING FOR AN EXHIBITION OF HIS WAR PAINTINGS. (DONOR: H. FREEDMAN)

P00925.001

P00925.002

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1984-1988. FORMER WWII WAR ARTIST HAROLD FREEDMAN AT WORK ON A MURAL AT FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE. (DONOR: H. FREEDMAN)

P00925.002

P00934.001

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, C 1943. AUSTRALIAN WAR ARTIST HAROLD FREEDMAN (LEFT) IN COLLINS STREET WITH HIS BROTHER. (DONOR: H. FREEDMAN)

P00934.001

Timeline

Date of birth 1915-05-21
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1941-07-07 Royal Australian Air Force
Date of discharge 1947-01-06
Date of death 1999-07-16