Home' Air Force News : July 21st 2011 Contents LAC Bill Solomou
THE ADF acknowledged past and present
indigenous members with an Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander service at the
Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Can-
berra on July 6.
The service was part of NAIDOC
week celebrations, which each year marks
the history, culture and achievements of
VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin said
it was a time to remember all past serving
indigenous servicemen and women.
"We also give thanks for the service of
those currently serving in the defence of
our nation," AIRMSHL Binskin said.
He spoke of indigenous pilot
SQNLDR David Paul, whose coura-
geous flying in WWII earned him the
Distinguished Flying Cross.
SQNLDR Paul -- who died in 1973
-- not only served his country but also
served his state, joining the NSW Police
Force after discharging from the Air
Force following his WWII service. He
achieved the rank of detective sergeant
He also maintained his involvement
with the Air Force in the reserves, achiev-
ing the rank of SQNLDR.
On December 4, 1943 the then
PLTOFF Paul was completing his 95th
operational sortie of his WWII tour, when
his Baltimore Bomber was shot down
over the Aegean Sea.
He survived the crash and swam
through flames to rescue a fellow crew
member. He was rescued from the sea but
was then captured and spent nearly two
years as a Prisoner of War (POW).
"His fellow prisoners held him in high
regard; they were impressed with his
leadership, unflagging cheerfulness, cour-
age and compassion," AIRMSHL Binskin
said.On March 20, 1944 while still a POW,
he was awarded the Distinguished Flying
Cross for his leadership, initiative and
"SQNLDR Paul's achievements as
a pilot and leader clearly demonstrated
that there were, and continue to be, no
limitations to what an Australian indig-
enous person can accomplish as part of
the ADF," AIRMSHL Binskin said.
SQNLDR Paul's family attended the
memorial and they proudly presented the
AWM with some of his service memo-
rabilia, which will be used as part of its
WWII educational program.
July 21, 2011
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LAC Gabriel Wamamie, of Australia's
Federation Guard (AFG), was a proud
member of the catafalque party at the
NAIDOC week memorial service at the
Australian War Memorial.
He said his Papua New Guinea herit-
age had instilled respect and courage to
his life traits that have also been valued
by the Air Force.
"To wear this blue uniform is an
extreme honour for me," he said.
"Our indigenous predecessors
have laid a strong foundation, we have
to continue the good work they have
As a member of the AFG, LAC
Wamamie enjoys the flexibility and
"You can undertake studies; courses
that will help you progress in life," he
said.He highly recommends the AFG to
all members, especially to indigenous
people."It gives you feet, you get to
travel to countries where our forefathers
have fought," he said.
GLIMPSE AT HISTORY: VCDF AIRMSHL Mark Binskin
and SQNLDR David Paul's nephew David Paul view the
flying log book.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
NAIDOC tribute STANDARD SET: CAF AIRMSHL
Geoff Brown chats with LAC Gabriel
Wamamie. Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
HE FEELS HONOURED
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