Gus Hughes's story
Angas 'Gus' Hughes enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in July 1942 at the age of 18.
After training in Australia as an observer, he was posted to the United Kingdom where he served as a navigator and bomb aimer with No 467 Squadron RAAF, at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.
Gus flew 32 missions with No 467 Squadron, being shot down on his last on the night of 26 September 1944. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war (POW) in Germany.
One of Gus' most vivid memories of his time as a POW was a hellish 21-day 209km forced march carried out in the middle of winter, during January and February 1945. This march was undertaken because the Germans were retreating before the Russian advance. The prisoners were marched from Stalag Luft VII through the snow with almost no food.
After being liberated by the Soviet army in May 1945, Gus and his fellow prisoners were held by the Soviets for a month before they were released.
Gus was discharged from the RAAF as a Flying Officer in December 1945. He returned to studying accountancy and married a former member of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF). He worked as a registered tax agent and licenced auditor until 1983, when he sold his practice but continued to work several hours a week at his old profession in order to keep his mind active.
Gus recalled vividly the strong mateship in Bomber Command, which carried over into civilian life after the war.