Richard Stewart Udy | 96 | Royal Australian Air Force

Richard Stewart Udy | 96 | Royal Australian Air Force

Served 3.5 years.

Flight Lieutenant.

Medals and citations: Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 and Pacific Star.

Postings: World War Two.

Primary job: Wireless Operator - the goal was to attack trade routes the Japanese were using.

“It was a privilege to serve with a great band of men in defense of our country.”

  • Entered the ADF in 1942
  • Has been a wireless-operator (Air Force), high school teacher, headmaster of a high school in Fiji, minister, poet and author
  • “I've had just a wonderfully happy life”
  • “We were happy to risk our lives to defend Australia. There was a time when Roosevelt and Churchill wanted to disregard what was happening in the Pacific. We didn’t, we knew the Japanese were coming. From my recollection, there was a remarkable American Admiral who said “these people are our cousins, our brothers, we need to stay and defend them” - long story short, many don’t realise how close WW2 came to our shores.There are three things that won the war - the Jeep, the DC-2 plan and the Catalinas - which helped prevent the Japanese from trying to conquer Australia. There were many submarines around Australia at the time, it really was a lot more dire a situation than many knew.”
  • The premise around my service was to stop the supplies of men, fuel, guns and essential things to the Japanese Army and Navy - who at the time had stretched themselves thousands of miles from their own bases in Japan into the Pacifics.
  • Spent majority of his time in the north of Australia, defending air and sea routes, right across to Borneo
  • Has written a book called “Catalina Crew’s Memorial Book” a memorial to the Catalina crews who failed to return during WW2 and includes the personal details of the airmen and the plane in which they flew. Each lost crew is detailed with the names and particulars of when and where they made their sacrificial stand.

What do you want people to remember about your service? That I was willing to do my part for the greater good.

What was the best and worst 'military' food you were served, and why? I was very fortunate in every way wherever I went. It was good food and good company.

What effect did your military experience have on your life? Made me thrive independently. I just felt completely safe and secure and prepared to take whatever came my way.

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