Brian Winspear - 'A bit of Heaven'
Out of the blue our crew was appointed to take a US … a Lockheed Hudson that needed two new engines that were stuffed. We had to take it down to Laverton and they stripped everything off the plane that would stop it flying and it was in such poor shape that we had to land at pretty much every refuelling place on the way home to get some more oil in the engines.
So we went Alice Springs and then Oodnadatta. At Oodnadatta one of the engines packed up altogether at Oodnadatta so we had to stay at the Oodnadatta Hotel for two or three days. It was just a bit of heaven to have clean sheets and three decent meals a day and steak and eggs and stuff we hadn't had for three or four months.
So finally they flew up some parts from Laverton and got the engines going again. So then we went to Adelaide and stayed overnight there and then eventually back to Laverton. And in all our dirty gear we were unique in the hotel at Adelaide. They thought we'd come from Mars or somewhere because, you know, all your clothes were filthy and you're sunburnt and so on and then when we got back to Melbourne it was much the same there. Quite a few of the restaurants there wouldn't let us pay because we'd come back from the war which was nice.