Home' Air Force News : September 29th 2011 Contents 13
Battle of Britain
September 29, 2011
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Derwort with Battle
of Britain veteran
Cowper in front of
the new honour
board; right, the
driving force behind
the honour board,
former SQNLDR Bob
Cowper; left, part of
the primary school's
LACW Nicci Freeman
FLTLT Melody Earl
RETIRED SQNLDR Bob Cowper
worked tirelessly to create a special
Battle of Britain honour board that was
unveiled at RAAF Base Edinburgh on
The board contains the names of
Australian aircrew who fought in the
Mr Cowper, who is one of our most
distinguished night fighter aces and
the last CO of 456SQN, researched
the information for the board from
the book, A Few of "The Few"--
Australians and the Battle of Britain.
Besides designing the honour
board, he was the prime mover in sub-
mitting the design to the Air Force and
then in having it made.
It will eventually be installed in the
RAAF Museum Battle of Britain display
at Point Cook.
Commander Aerospace Operational
Support Group AIRCDRE Noel Derwort
addressed the attendees at the unveiling.
"Something many people do not real-
ise is that the Battle of Britain was more
than a pivotal battle when it comes to air-
power, it was the first time a battle was
fought entirely in the air," he said.
Mr Cowper's wife, Katharine, who
also attended the ceremony, is the
only known surviving Australian-born
Battle of Britain veteran.
Mrs Cowper was a member of the
Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
stationed at RAF Kenley airfield,
which was a prime target.
Without the radar operators and
WAAF plotters to relay directions,
the defending fighters would not have
been able to achieve all that they did.
The attendees also watched pupils
from Playford Primary School perform
an interpretive dance of the song I Was
Only 19, written by John Schuman.
Playford had recently won the
"Most Innovative Activity" award in an
Anzac Day award project.
Air Force News will feature more on Bob
and Katharine Cowper in a future edition.
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