World War Two medal presentation for veteran airman

Ninety-three year old Leading Aircraftman (LAC) George Burgess, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Radio/Wireless Signals Operator who served in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, has finally been recognised for his efforts with the presentation of the Australian Service Medal (1945-1975 South West Pacific).

LAC Burgess was responsible for ensuring communications between RAAF aircraft based in the Pacific as part of the Australian Forces fighting the advance of the Japanese forces.

Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF) Rob Swanwick presented LAC Burgess with his medal.

“My greatest memory from the war was being in Borneo and receiving the news that the war with Japan was over,” said LAC Burgess after receiving his medal.

WOFF-AF Rob Swanwick and WOFF Suzie Harvey, Defence Security and Cyber Command Warrant Officer, travelled to Corrimal RSL, NSW on 27 February to present Mr Burgess with the award in front of a small gathering of family and friends.

“It’s a great honour to recognise the achievements of our WWII Veterans especially in the presence of their next of kin,” said WOFF-AF Swanwick.

“It was a great pleasure to chat with George about his role as a signals operator."

“Although we operate differently in the signals spectrum nowadays, he was happy to hear we still send and receive Morse code,” said WOFF Harvey.

Mr Burgess will travel to Canberra later this year to receive the Philippines Liberation Medal.