New book: Wings of Gold

Flying from an aircraft carrier is one of the most difficult things to do in all of aviation. This is the little-known story of a group of young Australians who joined the Royal Australian Navy to take up that challenge in the mid-1960s.

Wings of Gold

The Story of Australian Pilots and Observers Who Trained with the United States Navy 1966–1968

By Trevor Rieck, Jack McCaffrie, Jed Hart

Published by Big Sky Publishing | RRP $34.99 in hardback
ISBN 9781922265852

Flying from an aircraft carrier is one of the most difficult things to do in all of aviation. This is the little-known story of a group of young Australians who joined the Royal Australian Navy to take up that challenge in the mid-1960s.

Their story is unique because, unlike those who went before them and those who followed, they were sent to the USA to undertake their flying training with the United States Navy.

So began an unusual chapter in the story of the Royal Australian Navy. ‘The Pensacola experiment’, as it was called, was an outstanding success.

This book follows the young men’s initial and sometimes almost accidental encounters with the Navy recruiting office to their arrival as fully fledged naval aviators at the Naval Air Station Nowra, NSW, ready to join their first squadrons.

Many of them were destined for the war in Vietnam at the time.

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