Dream comes true for vet­eran pi­lot

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

AT 96, Arthur Corn­well thought his fly­ing days were over.

The Bri­tish Royal Air Force (RAF) vet­eran had not taken flight since an im­promptu trip to Rot­tnest al­most 30 years ago, but last week he got to re­live his youth.

Staff at South­ern Cross Care in Shel­ley, where Mr Corn­well re­sides, got in touch with the Royal Aero Club in Jan­dakot, which or­gan­ised a 30-minute flight in a Tiger Moth plane pi­loted by one of their mem­bers.

Mr Corn­well en­rolled in the RAF as a fresh­faced 17-year-old in 1940 in the midst of World War II and served in Britain’s offensive against Ger­many in the bomber com­mand unit.

As the war pro­gressed, he shifted to the ferry com­mand unit, help­ing trans­port air­craft to Bri­tish out­posts across the globe.

Mr Corn­well spoke fondly of his time as a pi­lot and cred­ited it with turn­ing him into a “man of the world”.

“We de­liv­ered air­craft to var­i­ous places: French Morocco, Tu­nisia, Libya, Egypt, Pales­tine, the Per­sian Gulf, even as far as Karachi,” he said,

“I flew ev­ery­where be­tween Casablanca and Cairo and met all sorts of peo­ple and all sorts of races and re­li­gions.

“It was very en­light­en­ing and in­ter­est­ing work. It was a very good life; I was a very, very lucky man.”

After the war ended in 1945, Mr Corn­well served an­other year with the RAF as an ad­ju­tant at air­fields in north­ern Italy and Pales­tine.

“When the war in Europe ended, we had a large in­flux of trained pi­lots and the air min­istries didn’t know what to do with them, so us more ex­pe­ri­enced types were shuf­fled off to desk jobs,” he said.

“After spend­ing long months deal­ing with oth­ers’ de­mo­bil­i­sa­tion pa­pers, my own drifted across my desk one day and that was it.”

De­spite the some­what abrupt end to his time with the RAF, Mr Corn­well’s love of flight re­mained.

He moved to WA and joined the Avi­a­tion Her­itage Mu­seum.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d493525

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