Bill Purdy

‘The poor old aircraft looked like a colander.’

8 June 2020

Today we remember Bill Purdy who enlisted with Bomber Command and flew 37 bombing raids against the enemy.

Bill Purdy — The poor old aircraft looked like a colander.

Bill Purdy audio file (MP4 23.92 MB)

Bill Purdy audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” – (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

On the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, around one million Australians enlisted to serve from a population of just seven million. Many more on the home front rallied to the cause. Australia remembers Bill Purdy who enlisted with Bomber Command and flew 37 bombing raids against the enemy. He somehow avoided the very high risk of being shot down and killed.

Bill Purdy

The one time when we were hit on 3 separate occasions by Flak and the same time we were attacked by a night fighter which put a nice flow of holes just in front of the wheel turret and when we had worked out what had happened to us the poor old aircraft was like a colander it was full of holes here and there and everywhere. My bomber man had a little strip taken of the back of his neck, the navigator had a piece that came down through the roof straight through his book of charts and buried itself in his desk. The only piece of armour plate was about two feet just behind the pilot and that had a great dent in it. It was all a matter of luck basically.

Saturday August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.