Kirk led a life of high ad­ven­ture

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

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.”

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

TOUCH­ING MO­MENT: Grace Kirk looks upon the plaque for her late hus­band, Ted.

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