Gladys Waters: Anzac Day 2020

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made
Australia
Hear from veterans, their loved ones and those on the home front about their most unforgettable memories of wartime.

Transcript

Intro: Anzac Day 2020, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Mat McLachlan: I'm Mat McLachlan. On Anzac Day, we remember all Australians who have served our country. In 1944 during the Second World War, Len Waters became Australia's first Aboriginal fighter pilot. He flew 95 operations in Kittyhawks against the Japanese around the islands north of Australia. On one of those operations, Len's plane was hit and he almost didn't make it back to base. His widow, Gladys Waters, picks up the story …

Gladys Waters: They had to go out flying – they were about 3 hours out from their camp doing a clean-up. And this Jap shell landed up between Lenny and the back of his seat, with the fuel tank. When he realised what's happened, … he was terrified. And he said, that he would have landed on eggshells that day because he was that frightened. But they had to clear the aerodrome of the planes… cause the shell hadn't gone off – but they didn't know when it was gonna go off. He was terrified about it, but he got it down and no one was hurt in any way. They had to explode the shell. But wasn't he lucky! Two and a half hours it took him to get back to the camp with that shell behind him.

Outro: Anzac Day 2020. Lest we forget.

Was this page helpful?