Aussies Arrive In Britain (1940) newsreel
Copyright expired - public domain
In December 1940, the first Australian aircrews trained under the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) began to arrive in Britain. In this newsreel footage, we see Australian EATS graduates arriving at a port in England. This film would have been shown at cinemas throughout Australia. British Pathé FILM ID: 1031.09
They're here, after a journey of 13,000 miles. The men from the wide-open spaces to form the first unit in Europe of the Royal Australian Air Force. Each man is already fully trained as a pilot, gunner, observer or ground engineer, and it's the writing on the wall for Hitler and his crew. They ought to know now that winning the war is as much the business of the Empire as of Britain alone. The sacrifices of one will be shared by all. So here's a proud 'hello' to the Aussies and their leader Wing Commander Lachal, who reads a message from Australia's High Commissioner: "You are the representatives of an Air Force which has already established for itself an honourable tradition in the service in which you are to be called upon to perform and in which you will be associated with the Royal Air Force. You will, I know, maintain that tradition." When they bag their first Nazi plane, they'll hear their 'cooee' way back in Australia. "At last we're here after a long journey but all we want now is a couple of good Australian bush fires to warm us up. That was the only chilly part of the trip, it was grand." Coo-ee!