VETERAN ‘MARCHES’ ON
THIS year will be the first time Bill Utting has not walked in an Anzac Day parade.
The 93-year old Wembley man was a flying officer in World War II and his wife Irene was a RAAF sergeant based in Perth.
These days the pair spends their days at Mercy Care Village.
“This will be the first year that I haven’t marched, my legs aren’t what they used to be, but I’ll be there in a car and I’ll be nice and dry if it rains,” Mr Utting said.
Mr Utting left his job as a clerk at the Australian Taxation Office and enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at the age of 20 in 1942.
He then joined about 100 other recruits in a 12-week basic training course before doing his pilot training.
“Eventually it was time for us to join the war,” Mr Utting said.
“We travelled to England via the US. We went through the US on trains and had a brief spell in New York City, then they shipped us from there to Glasgow, and eventually we arrived in Brighton.
“With much trepidation we flew upwards of 36 operations, all with the same crew... they were like my family in the end.”
After the war, Mr Utting returned home to his fiancee Irene. The couple had become engaged before the war and married soon after his return.
He re-joined the ATO, and never took to the air again.
Mr Utting was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross after the war, which he wears with pride every Anzac Day.
World War II pilot Bill Utting.