Tuesday, September 24, 2013

World War W

If you have an interest in world war two and would like to get an idea of what it was like in Wagga Wagga around this time , the local studies collection contains some compelling memoirs, factual accounts and formal biographies . There is also a copy for loan in the general collection, in biography.

One of these is Ray Kelly's Tail of a Gunner : a WOAG from Wagga Wagga, covers Ray's childhood and teen years before the war, growing up in Pleasant Hills and moving to Wagga, enlisting, and then his wartime experiences as a Wireless Operator Rear Gunner in the RAAF. This book is a moving and memorable chronicle of a difficult time, and the book closes with an afterword on the survivors of the 463 Lancaster Bomber Squadron :
Courage is something about being cool, calm and collected. It is what makes a man feel warm inside and confident, but nagging at his mind ( and thus at his physical self) is that gremlin that sits on his shoulder waiting, just waiting, for the thin line to be crossed and his spirit to be broken. No one can really speak about courage unless he has to test his own.
No matter what your stance on war, this book is a powerful read and personal, showing what it feels like to move from childhood to the dark and frightening time of world war.

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