Wing Commander Charles Learmonth, DFC and Bar
and the Air War in New Guinea
by Charles Page

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Wings of Destiny fills a significant gap in Australian World War II history. Very few books have been published about the air war in New Guinea, and although several have been written on Kokoda, the air war has generally not been covered in any detail. Yet, the battle for air supremacy in New Guinea provides much interest, action, heroism, tragedy and excitement. The RAAF in New Guinea provided tactical and strategic support to our troops. The RAAF and USAAF asserted air superiority over the Japanese; destroyed fuel, ammunition and supply dumps; bombed and strafed Japanese troops; disrupted supply lines; and bombed shipping. After the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, the Japanese never again attempted to use convoys to reinforce their troops in New Guinea.

This is a story that needed to be told. The deeds of Charles Learmonth and “The Boston Boys” deserve more than a shoebox full of aerogrammes held together with rubber bands. Through the eyes of Charles Learmonth, we view pre-war Australia, the air search for the Sydney, the air war in New Guinea, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, and the tragedy of the Beaufort bomber accidents. We fly with Charles Learmonth in his twin engine Boston attack bomber, She’s Apples. We follow the brave deeds of No.22 Squadron and the “Boston Boys”, and although saddened by the loss of so many crews, we take pride in their achievement.


The book can be ordered from all good bookshops.

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Paperback, 225 x 150 mm, 416 pages

88 b&w photos, 34 maps & diagrams

ISBN 9781877058646




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This page first produced 8 June 2008

This page last updated 23 January 2020