Year 10 student Madison Powell should be congratulated on her article about the World War II aerodrome constructed at Tocumwal.
An amazing fact was that much of the earthworks associated with the construction of the main runway was done using horse and scoops.
During World War II, I was a member of the Junior Air Spotters, a government established group, which was probably established to foster patriotic feelings among us youngsters.
Our task was simple. Whenever we sighted an aircraft flying overhead, we were to race down to the former band practice hall to report on the aircraft’s status.
This small hall had a single phone that was connected to a ‘‘voice’’ and the walls were plastered with descriptions of Japanese war planes.
Exciting stuff for young minds, but ruined by the closeness of the Tocumwal aerodrome and its training role.
Time and again, Lake Mulwala was used by Wirraways — a single engine, two-seater training aircraft — and patriotic juniors soon tired of reporting these friendly planes.
However, there was one absolutely exciting moment when, with a tremendous roar, several American B29 Super Fortresses flew at tree-top level above Yarrawonga.
These were huge bombers, powered by four engines, and, with several together, their presence was awesome.
Our chooks stopped laying eggs for a week.
This was it — my big moment had come as I jumped on my ‘‘treadly’’ (bicycle) to place my report. But it seemed like several dozens of other kids had also woken from their collective hibernations.
The queue was long.
So ended my career as a Junior Air Spotter, as the end of the war was looming.
- Bill Brown, Shepparton