Historians Seek Unpublished Stories of Australian Aircrew in the Burma Theatre
In a commendable effort to commemorate the unsung heroes of World War II, esteemed historians Dr Andrew Kilsby and Dr Daryl Moran are embarking on an ambitious project to chronicle the untold history of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrew in Royal Air Force (RAF) squadrons during the Burma Theatre campaign from 1942 to 1945. The duo aims to compile a comprehensive account of the Australian contribution to the air war in Burma, India, Ceylon, and, when applicable, China.
Titled Resolute: Australian Aircrew in the Burma Theatre 1942-1945, this extensive historical documentation will delve into the operational environments and conditions faced by Australian aircrew, highlighting their individual stories and experiences within the theatre. Kilsby and Moran are particularly interested in sourcing personal narratives, images, and memorabilia that have not been previously published, including photographs, personal memoirs, letters, logbooks, and more.
Through meticulous research conducted at renowned institutions such as the National Archives of Australia (NAA), Australian War Memorial (AWM), National and State Libraries, and the Office of Air Force History, the historians have already made significant progress. However, they hope to uncover hidden treasures of firsthand accounts from the families connected to the South East Asia Command.
The historical record compiled in Resolute will encompass a wide range of elements, including nominal rolls, details of prisoners of war (excluding the Thai-Burma railway), awards and decorations, casualty lists, and more. The narrative will adopt a chronological approach, contextualising the air war from a strategic to tactical standpoint while highlighting the unique experiences of Australian aircrew who served across various RAF squadrons in the theatre.
To ensure the inclusivity and accuracy of their research, Kilsby and Moran are reaching out to the community for assistance. They invite anyone with a connection to former Burma aircrew or their families to contribute their personal stories or relevant materials to this remarkable project. By sharing these invaluable narratives, the historians aim to preserve and disseminate the vital stories of Australian aircrew who operated in the Burma Theatre during World War II.
If you or someone you know has a connection to the aircrew or their families, Dr Kilsby and Dr Moran can be reached directly via email or phone:
Dr. Andrew Kilsby
Phone: 0408 342 795
Dr. Daryl Moran
Phone: 0404 069 751