Air War Europe

Australian War Memorial Conference 2003
Telstra Theatre, Australian War Memorial
Saturday 15 November 2003

Those who took part in the air offensive against Germany in 1943 and 1944 fought in some of the most costly campaigns of the Second World War. To commemorate the battle of Berlin and the air war over Europe, the Australian War Memorial held a one-day conference in Canberra on 15 November 2003. Air War Europe focused on every aspect of the air campaign during the Second World War, including campaigns and strategy, the role of Bomber Command, Fighter Command and the Tactical Air Force, debates over the effectiveness of bombing, and the role Australian air servicemen and women played in the defeat of the Axis powers. Speakers includeD veterans, Memorial staff and historians of the Second World War in the air.

The conference also celebrated the returned display of Australia’s most famous Lancaster, “G for George”, late in 2003. Conference attendees were able to view the final stages of the aircraft’s installation in Anzac Hall.

Conference Papers


8.30–9.00 Registration
9.00–9.30 Dr Alan Stephens
Keynote address:
First solo: air strategy in the Second World War
  Life and death in Bomber Command
9.30–10.00 Don Charlwood
The men of Bomber Command
10.00–10.30 Prof. Hank Nelson
A different war: Australians in Bomber Command
10.30–11.00 Morning tea
  Life and death in Bomber Command (continued)
11.00–11.30 Dr Chris Clark
Empire Training Scheme
11.30–12.00 Dr Peter Stanley
The roundel: concentric identities among Australian airmen in Bomber Command
12.00–12.30 Peter Burness
“G for George”
12.30–1.45 Lunch
  Special presentation
1.45 Garth Pratten
Unit Profiles Project – Australian squadrons in the European air war
  Aspects of Australia’s air war
2.00–2.30 Peggy West
Secret Y Service
2.30–3.00 Peter Scully
Australians and the Mediterranean air war
3.00–3.30 Afternoon tea
  “Ops”: Australians in the air war
3.30–4.00 Ian Hodges
At the tip of the javelin: the Dam Busters’ raid
4.00–4.30 Dr Daniel Oakman
The battle of Berlin
  Panel discussion and open forum
4.30–5.30 Air War Europe