Phil Elger/Bill Evans - Motivation for enlistment

Running time
2 min 4 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Bill: I wanted to defend my country, period, you know. My Australia was being threatened up the North there. This was in 1942 and I just felt that it was my duty to do it. Yeah. Apart from the fact that I liked flying, you know, but my main reason was to defend my country of course.

Phil: Well I'm quite small and I didn't want to get in among those rough blokes and I looked at all the army, navy and air force and I didn't want to get dirty so I joined the air force. That was the biggest mistake I made.

Bill: Did you get a shock?

Phil: Yes

Bill: I bet you did.

Phil: A big one. Particularly unarmed training at Brickley Bay.

Bill: Unarmed training? What's that all about?

Phil: Unarmed. You had to crawl along a muddy track which by this time was mud and barbed wire over our head and they're firing shots over you. I didn't know they were expert shots but it frightened the Hell out of me. You couldn't put your backside up, you got caught on the wire but when you got to the end you dived out and you ran to a creek and there was a rope hanging up and you said 'Okay', grab the rope and swing across the creek but everybody would fall in, the rope was covered with mud and you'd slip right down. It wasn't a very pleasant experience, believe me.

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