Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, presented the 2021 RAAF Heritage Awards on Tuesday 29 March at RAAF Point Cook as part of the Air Marshals’ symposium.
Military historian Mr David Mitchellhill-Green took out the $25,000 prize for his manuscript Wings over the Malayan Jungle, in a ceremony hosted in the RAAF Museum and attended by former Air Force Air Marshals.
Mr Mitchelhill-Green is the author of the books Tobruk: Fiercely Stand or Fighting Fall, Hitler’s War in Africa 1941–1942, Air War Over North Africa, Fighting in Ukraine and With Rommel in the Desert.
‘I am incredibly honoured to receive the 2021 RAAF Heritage award,’ said Mr Mitchelhill-Green.
‘The story of No. 1 Squadron in the Malayan Emergency – an eight-year Cold War deployment – is today largely forgotten. It is a privilege to be able to tell the story of the airmen, ground crew, and their Lincoln bombers, fighting a counterinsurgency on our northern doorstep.’
Air Force has run its Heritage Awards since 1987 to promote Air Force’s history and heritage. However, Air Force’s History and Heritage (HH) Branch is now transforming the awards into the Air Force Heritage Pathway to Publication program, to support both civilians and Defence personnel to write books addressing Air Force’s history.
‘During the past 12 months we have developed the program, which engages with academics, aviation-history enthusiasts and both serving and former Air Force personnel, and works with them to publish a diverse range of manuscripts covering the experience of the Air Force since 1921,’ said Air Force Historian, Mr Martin James.
‘It is a measure of the success of the Heritage Awards during the past 35 years that there is now a large and willing body of authors keen to work on books with us.’
Following the presentation of the Heritage Awards, HH Branch launched a new double book set, and presented a set to each attendee.
Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force by GPCAPT David Richardson describes the acquisition, operation and service record of the 176 aircraft flown by the RAAF during its first 100 years.
Units of the Royal Australian Air Force by WGCDR Despina Tramoundanis provides up-to-date histories of Air Force’s currently active Squadrons, Units and Wings.
‘Collectively, these two books tell the story of our people through the units in which they have served and the aircraft they supported and they have operated,’ said Mr James.