Kirk led a life of high adventure
He took a spitfire and flew into occupied France. — Stuart Kirk
TED Kirk’s grandson Stuart Kirk remembers his grandfather’s stories of life in the air fondly.
Mr Kirk grew up hearing about his grandfather’s time as an RAAF pilot in the Second Worldwar.
“After only doing about 12 hours of flight training too,” Mr Kirk said.
“There was one time when they weren’t fighting anybody so he took a spitfire and flew into occupied France.
“He’d emptied out all of the ammunition cases and flew into town where he filled it up with cigarettes and flew back.”
RSL member Peter Raffles gave a speech talking about the deeds of his friend.
“Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour Ted, aged 17, asked his parents for permission to join the RAAF and train as a pilot and this was granted,” Mr Raffles said.
Ted’s father won the military medal in France in the Firstworldwar rescuing wounded soldiers under fire.
“Ted once took a spit fire up to 30,000 feet, as high as it could go and there he saw the curvature of the earth for the first time,” he said.
Mr Kirk was a very talented pilot.
“Ted would say when you fire your rockets that’s fine, but when a ship fires a salvo of 20 rockets back at you that is a whole different story,” Mr Raffles said.
“He’d say you must hold the aircraft rock steady until you fired your rockets then put the rudder in one pocket and the cockpit and stick in the other so your are pointing one way but going another, hopefully fooling the gunners.”
TOUCHING MOMENT: Grace Kirk looks upon the plaque for her late husband, Ted.