Peter Munro - Becoming an air gunner

Running time
2 min 34 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well a boy of 16 has burning ambitions. I was an air cadet. The Air Force had formed an air training corps to provide future air crew personnel. So from the age 16 to 18, I was an air cadet, and come the day when you turn 18 you register straight away. Well, you go into an initial training school and I think that was six weeks if I recall and they belt Hell out of you.

A severe disciplinary training so that when someone gives a command you do what you done without dithering and wondering, and much intensive formal study and at that stage, they're a panel of experts who were trained to segregate.

They had what they called categorisation, and that's, we think you'll be a good navigator. You don't appear to be too hot on mathematics, so we'll make you a gunner, or whatever, you know, they had to stream you off in what they thought was going to be your future performance.

Well like most boys, you get horribly disappointed because you all want to fly. But you have that moment of truth when they say, we don't think you're going to make a particularly good flier. We note from your records that you're good at wireless, so we'll make you a wireless operator.

So it goes. Well they made me a wireless operator, gunner. I was sent to Ballarat in Victoria and Ballarat, Victoria decided that I was not very brilliant on radio after all, so they said well now we're going to make you a straight gunner. So then I went to gunnery school, where you have intensive gunnery training and I shone there.

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