This Anzac Parade memorial to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) honours the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in the RAAF and its predecessor, the Australian Flying Corps.
The original memorial was unveiled by HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh in his role as Marshal of the RAAF in 1973 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the RAAF. The main sculpture by Inge King comprises three large stainless steel panels reminiscent of aircraft wings and representing the endurance, strength and courage of RAAF personnel, rise vertically from the base with a bronze flight sculpture in the centre embodying man’s struggle to conquer the elements. The inscription on the front of the memorial per ardua ad astra is the RAAF motto meaning “through adversity to the stars”.
The memorial was extended in 2002 through the addition of three polished granite walls at the rear depicting major war scenes from 1915 to the present. Personally I don’t think the additions enhanced the memorial which I now find to be the least aesthetically pleasing of those on Anzac Parade. This does not, of course, lessen its role as a tribute to valiant RAAF members.
The RAAF was established in 1921—just three years after the (British) Royal Air Force. Australian pilots were on active service in 1914 in New Guinea, and in 1915 the Australian Flying Corps was fighting in Mesopotamia (Iraq). By 1918, squadrons were also in action on the Western Front in France. During World War II the RAAF served with distinction in the Middle East, Britain and the Pacific. The RAAF also served in the Malayan, Korean and Vietnam conflicts and, more recently, RAAF personnel have served in the Gulf War, East Timor and numerous peacekeeping operations.
Address: ANZAC Parade