Courage in the Skies

The untold story of Qantas, its brave men and women and their extraordinary role in World War II

Jim Eames
AUD $22.99

This is the extraordinary and little known story of Qantas' significant role during World War II, particularly in its campaigns against the Japanese.

Between 1942 and 1943, Qantas lost eight aircraft during its involvement in Australia's war against the Japanese. Over sixty passengers and crew died as a result. Yet Qantas' exemplary contribution to Australia's war effort and the courage of its people in those difficult times has been forgotten.

Courage in the Skies is the remarkable story of Qantas at war and the truly heroic deeds of its crew and ground staff as the Japanese advanced towards Australia. Flying unarmed planes through war zones and at times under enemy fire, the airline supplied the front lines, evacuated the wounded and undertook surprising escapes, including carrying more than forty anxious civilians on the last aircraft to leave besieged Singapore.

Absorbing, spirited and fast-paced, above all this is a story of an extraordinary group of Australians who confronted the dark days of World War II with bravery, commitment and initiative. They just happened to be Qantas people.

'In this most readable book, Jim Eames captures the experiences of a small band of brave, professional and pioneering aircrew who confronted the dangers of war, the challenges of unforgiving oceanic and tropical weather and the uncertainty of navigation in unarmed flying boats and conventional aircraft.' - Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret'd)

Author bio:

Jim Eames has been involved in aviation since he began work as an aviation writer in the 1960s. He has been a ministerial press secretary and aviation adviser to governments and a senior executive with Qantas. He is the author of eight books including Taking to the Skies: Daredevils, heroes and hijackers, Australian flying stories from the Catalina to the Jumbo and The Flying Kangaroo: Great untold stories of Qantas...the heroic, the hilarious and the sometimes plain strange.

Category: History
ISBN: 9781760529192
Table Of Contents: Introduction

1. Prelude to a war: The Imperial-BOAC dilemma

2. A world at war

3. The shadows darken, 1940

4. Cats across the Pacific

5. The Americans are coming: Pan Am

6. Route extensions and Sibolga dogs

7. The battle for Singapore

8. Running the gauntlet

9. Impregnable no more: The fall of Singapore

10. Aub Koch's war: Part one

11. Loss and retreat: The link is cut

12. Means of escape

13. Near miss at Darwin

14. Dave Ross's Dili dilemma

15. Tjilatjap: The rat trap

16. 'One of our aircraft is missing': The loss of Circe

17. Death and disaster at Broome

18. Papua New Guinea: The last stand

19. The struggle for aircraft and the Bully Beef Bombers

20. Empires to the rescue

21. The Japanese have landed

22. Aub Koch's war: Part two

23. 'A most fascinating and romantic undertaking': In secret across the Indian Ocean

24. The home front

25. The end comes

26. Among those who served

27. The struggle for recognition


Appendix Qantas staff casualties


Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: February 2019
Page Extent: 352
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: History