I have written books in the past but when I was approached by the Air Force to write about RAAF operations in the Korean War, it was an absolute privilege.
My involvement with the subject dates back to my childhood when veterans of that conflict were family friends and my appreciation of their service was slight. Over the years I learnt more and became progressively more and more in awe of Australia’s role in a sometimes overlooked war.
So it was very special when my book, “A Very Different War” rested in my hands for the first time. The occasion was made even more significant when the book was launched to the backdrop of Gloster F.8 Meteor A77-851 “Halestorm”. The jet that had scored Australia’s last air-to-air victory.
“The cockpit section from the original “Halestorm” has been immaculately restored and mated with the fuselage of another surviving Meteor. As I climbed the steps and peered into the early jet cockpit with its maze of dials and digits, I was struck by the thought that 70 years ago my father had sat in that very cockpit.
Writing is my catharsis. That process by which the swirling thoughts inside my head can be released into the wild and my cranial jungle returned to a state of peace. Once in a while a project comes along that has an even deeper meaning. For me, it was the opportunity to pay tribute to those who served and those who did not return. And, as I discovered, it was a very different war.