The 3-nine-39 radio and video series tells the untold stories of veterans, widows and family members from the Second World War.
And then as a result, Australia is also at war. 3-nine-39, the day the war became real for Australians.
I’m Ray Martin. September the 3rd 1939, see’s Australia enter the Second World War. Around a million people enlist out of a population of just 7 million.
Catherine Josie Jackson, now 100, is trained as a meteorologist with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Her husband is with Bomber Command, and she gets posted to the same base in England that he’s at. But on the night of the 22nd of November 1943, the war suddenly becomes very real for Josie.
Catherine Josie Jackson:
My husband went on a night raid. But I didn’t know where, or anything about it.
But in the morning when I was going on duty to the Met Office I was interrupted by a wireless operator.
I thought, oh dear. So she said, can you come in for a minute to the wireless room.
And unfortunately the first thing I saw was a big blackboard. And on the top line, it said James Brown missing. And that was it.
And she grabbed me and hugged me and said well I’m terribly sorry but your crew didn’t come back last night. We don’t know what’s happened, we haven’t heard anything, we don’t know. All their listed is missing.
Catherine Josie Jackson, remembering the Second World War, 80 years on.