Arthur ‘Nat’ Gould, a fighter pilot in WWII, experienced a remarkable series of campaigns. He served in squadrons in the United Kingdom, in Russia, at the Battle of Milne Bay and finally in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Nat’s stories of the dangers and triumphs of wartime flying are compelling.
I was about 14 or 15 and I used to go to Archerfield Aerodrome. I’d ride my bicycle out there and peer over the fence and watch them all… they had Gypsy Moths. I remember there was a wonderful aeroplane there… it was a rotary engine plane. The cylinders all went round, the whole engine went round, the propeller was fastened onto the cylinders, a most astonishing thing. Mum and Dad were immigrants. Dad worked for Queensland Railways. It was in the Depression years when I was growing up. There were five children. I had two elder sisters and two younger brothers. We weren’t poor, we weren’t desperate, but there was no way they could pay money for me to learn to fly… I used to go round the paddocks in Ashford where we lived, collecting cow manure, which I used to sell to the local gardeners, one and six a bag. Also I’d get up early and go and get mushrooms which we’d sell to the local pubs. I can’t remember how much we got for those. When I got 10 shillings or 15 shillings, on my bike out to the airport and got myself a half hour of flying. In fact it was such a success that by the time I was 17, I got a pilot’s license, just on cow manure and mushrooms.
WELCOME TO THE AUSTRALIANS AT WAR FILM ARCHIVE
12,000 hours of interviews about Australia’s wartime history.
2,005 interviews, 1,000,000 stories.
Told by the people who lived them.