Interview with Norman George Smith


Interview with Norman George Smith


Norman George Smith grew up in Western Australia. After leaving school he became an assistant in a timber mill workshop before volunteering for the Australian Air Force at the age of eighteen. He flew operations as a pilot with 463 Squadron from RAF Waddington. He returned back to Australia at the end of the war and recalls how he was welcomed home by his family. He also talks about how his first wife arrived from England, and his subsequent family life.







00:55:57 audio recording

Conforms To


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RB: Now Norman have you got any questions for me?
NS: No, not really.
RB: Okay, well I’ll read this interview heading that I’ve got and then perhaps answer any questions you might have. This is an interview being conducted by the International Bomber Command Centre, and I am Ron Baron and I’m talking to Norman George Smith.
NS: That’s right, correct.
RB: And I’m in Western Australia, and also present is Kathy, Norman’s daughter, the date is 3rd December, 2016.
NS: Correct.
RB: Now can you tell me where you were born and when you were born?
NS: 1924, er, in Perth, then spent a bit of time Armadale afterwards.
RB: Right, can you tell me a little bit about your family, your parents, brothers and sisters?
NS: Roy my brother was the next one down, then had sisters, two sisters.
RB: And their names?
NS: Their names [coughs], what the hell were their names, Kathy?
KY: Lynne and Beattie.
NS: And Beattie that’s right, yeah Beattie. Lynne I always forget her.
RB: Lynne and Beattie
NS: She’s named after my mother.
RB: What did your father do what work?
NS: He was what they call a bush boss, he goes into the forest and worked out which trees to fall and made sure that the people picking up trees to take them to landing [unclear] were doing the right thing, picking up the right trees what I suppose had fallen down.
RB: Let’s go on to your schooling now, what age did you start school?
NS: When I was six at Whittaker’s Mill, I just lived about a couple of hundred yards from the school and in Whittaker’s Mill.
RB: And how long were you there at what age did you leave?
NS: That place there would be about eleven, eleven or twelve I think it’d be, and then we went down to Perth, but by this time I’d become a assistant in the timber mill workshop [coughs] and no more school.
RB: You didn’t like school?
NS: Well I wasn’t [unclear], wasn’t too bad at times I suppose but was too much fiddling around.
RB: When you were in the mill what sort of work did you do?
NS: Engineering, and whenever there was a [coughs] trouble in the mill itself at the weekend the engineer and myself as offsider picked up the bearings in the mill and all that sort of thing and we had a pretty good time together.
RB: What sort of wages did you get then, what sort of pay?
NS: Pay?
RB: Yeah.
NS: Oh gosh I’ve forgotten what pay it was but it was pretty good and I remember working at the mill, when I worked in the mill before I went to Perth and it was pretty good. We used to have, sometimes I used to work with the blacksmith and other times they’d be down in the mill itself and do a bit clearing out on the benches.
RB: What sort of hobbies did you have then? Did you enjoy —
NS: Swimming I did a mainly going [unclear] up and down the creeks looking for junies [?] there a sort of a prawn but in the water the white mermaid there only about two inches long, three inches, four inches some the big ones, a bit dirty they’d be about —
RB: Did you eat them? Were they tasty?
NS: Oh yes of course they are yeah, put them in water and boil them up like you do a prawn and there, there just like a prawn that’s all, there in the water, in the rainwater creeks not in the salt.
RB: As you got older did you have any other jobs?
NS: No I don’t think I did really, er none that I, none that I had pay for, might do a bit of self, self, self work, but Roy and I, Roy my brother we’d go off to the bush hunt around for kangaroos and things. Chop a bit of wood on a fallen tree that’s why what happened one day when I went to chop a bit of wood off the end of a tree and instead of hitting the wood straight away I got tangled in a bit of bush the back of the axe and it swung up like that and Roy was standing on the tree and it swung up to him and cut the back of his knee, and had to carry him down to the schoolteacher’s house, the schoolteacher took him away and took him down to Pinjarra to get fixed up, but saved his leg anyway.
RB: When did you become interested in flying?
NS: Oh that’s when I rescued a boy that was in the swimming at the bottom of the falls, out in the middle and he got a cramp but he started to sink and why [unclear] having a bit of a sunbake on the rocks decided so we dived in and grabbed hold of him but he pretty near drowned the two of us, had hold of me around the neck but anyway I got him, got him to the side and he was all right and took him home eventually didn’t seem any, he apologised to me said he was sorry sort of thing. His family reckoned I was pretty good saving him and they invited me down to Perth for holiday that’s when I went down to Perth and the first morning I when I went outside the house had a look out and overlooking the airfield heard the Tiger Moth flying away, suddenly flying away and that’s what I was going to do that’s me fly an aircraft and, er, all the books I’d been reading and monthly magazine learn how to fly a plane and I knew, pretty well knew there and then how to fly the plane and well, well eventually anyway I joined the Air Cadets and well I was going around Air Cadets, Air Cadets in Perth but I was pretty, I was gonna be an aircraft pilot anyway.
RB: When the war came, how old were you when the war started?
NS: Er, I wasn’t, I wasn’t eighteen yet. Eventually I turned eighteen and that’s when I joined the actual Air Force itself that was, that was just after my eighteenth birthday.
RB: Where did you go for your initial training?
NS: Clontarf, that was, no flying but what do you call it an ex school where all the pupils were women and I checked out, waiting for the cleaners to clean up the place, most of the pupils I think had shit on the floor, they cleaned up the place for us anyway and took us in from the tents we were in tents for about a fortnight, took us inside gave us a bedroom.
RB: How long were you there?
NS: Oh, about a month, two months, then we went off to Cunderdin then, where the Tiger Moths were that was what we had after.
RB: What was your first posting then from Clontarf?
NS: Clontarf, after, after, Merredin, yes down to Merredin.
RB: And what did you do there?
NS: That’s where we started to fly planes, and had a pretty good time chasing bloody emus in the planes making out we were gonna shoot them yeah yeah, on the beach firing at people in boats, little boats, make out we were going to shoot ‘em, dive on ‘em —
RB: What sort of aircraft were they?
NS: Tiger Moths, yeah, DH82A, but they were really good planes Tiger Moths.
RB: How long were you there?
NS: Oh, went up, from there we went to Cunderdin where we started really learn how to fly and it was pretty good become pilots eventually had to go to Geraldton, after Geraldton, I, I was up near [unclear] but I came back to Geraldton I knew the place you know, I knew all the corners and all the little, quite a few little huts they had two beds in ‘em, where people should go in when there’s any bombs, bombs coming over, instead of that we were using them as little beds to put the women in while we sort of cuddled up to them.
RB: How did you feel when you first went solo?
NS: I went solo eventually, and by that time I did pretty good because the chap that’s teaching me how to fly and everything apparently I was pretty good on doing the loop de loop, loop de loop, and he used to boast about me to all the other teachers and that in the mess, and I didn’t realise this but he used to keep me pretty near on the same thing all the time and I got fed up with him and complained to [coughs] to the head office. And the chap there he said, ‘What’s the matter?’ I said, ‘Well listen I can’t carry on being learnt anymore about the aircraft so I don’t think I can fly anymore you better take me down off this course.’ And they said, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘Because the bloody teacher there keeps on telling me to do the same thing over and over again.’ And er, anyway they promised me a well they would fix that up, and then they gave me another teacher so okay I settled in quite well and became quite good. But apparently I still had the plane, not the plane the people that looked after me they realised that my first teacher that I wanted to get out of all he was doing was boasting about how I could fly loop de loop and anyway.
RB: And that was still in Tiger Moths?
NS: In Tiger Moths oh yeah, that’s all they had here in Australia at the time.
RB: Did you make any mates while you were there?
NS: Any what?
RB: Any friends, mates?
NS: Oh one or two, Bill, Bill was one, Bill Adam, he was the main one. There was only about one because quite a few of them didn’t come from Western Australia they came from Eastern States, but I got along pretty well the new teachers.
RB: Did you have any troubles there any problems?
NS: No only, only thinking that the Japanese were looking after, tearing after me one night when I was on guard duty and I heard these footsteps, and I said, ‘Okay halt or else I shall fire.’ And this was about three o’clock one morning and I still heard these footsteps so I let go of the rifle and bang, three o’clock in the morning woke the whole school up, and turned out it was aircraft hangars that looked the rooves, the rooves were false never went up to the roof about three or four feet from the roof then up to the roof they had can canvas and of course when the breeze blew it shook the bloody canvas and sounded as though somebody was walking around, and ‘cos I, when I let the rifle go off the CO didn’t like it much not being woken at that time in the morning three o’clock but, er. He said I did the right thing, but at that time it was wrong shooting at that time in the morning waking everybody up, but that was one of the times when I did the right thing but at the wrong time.
RB: When you were at Geraldton did you fly any other aircraft?
NS: Not there, not in Australia, no, no Tiger Moths that’s all we had, and then I got my wings went over to England, over first to America then to England, but got to England that’s when I started on other aircraft to fly.
RB: How did you get, how did you get to the UK from Australia when you were?
NS: By boat, boat to America that was in the coast of America, got that end I went ashore then they took us to an air, a big Air Force base just outside Boston and that’s when I, we were having a meal one day, three of us, three fellas and myself having this meal some ladies next door to us one of them come over and said, ‘You come from Australia?’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s right, Australians.’ And she said, ‘Coming from Australia’ She said. ‘How did you learn to talk English?’ It showed you how much they knew about Australia in those days, but as it was I tried to explain to her and away she went she was quite happy about it. But, you can have some fun —
RB: And then you went by ship from the USA to the UK?
NS: Went from USA to America to Australia —
RB: To the UK?
NS: In the UK yeah, and then started doing a bit of flying when we go to the UK.
RB: So what was the first posting in the UK then? What aircraft were you flying? This would be in 1943 when you arrived.
NS: I’m just trying to think what aircraft we were flying then, flying first. Ansons, yeah Ansons that’s right, Anson Bombers we started flying them. And then went produced up that little bit further and started taking [unclear] Ansons, what’s the other ones.
RB: When you got onto your first squadron what squadron was that?
NS: Er, that was 463.
RB: And the aircraft type you flew there?
NS: They, they were, 463 now what were they flying, they were flying, they were flying Stirlings, Stirling aircraft, so we started flying Stirlings and then the next thing we know we were equipped with Lancaster Bombers
RB: And which squadron were you flying with the Lancasters?
NS: ER, 463, and the only time I got changed, when the war finished in Europe because we after 463 to 467 and waited for our ground crew to go out by boat they had to they were going to Japan. Actually we did that we made [unclear] to go out but funnily enough the Yanks dropped their silly little bomb and finished the whole show and there was no more bombing it simmered down.
RB: Did you do any other flights before you came back to the UK?
NS: Oh we, a few times, a few times we got out to Germany and France to pick up ex bomb, ex people that were captured by the Germans.
RB: Prisoners of war?
NS: Prisoners of war you see and taking them home and I put a sign on the side of the aircraft where the door was I decided to tell them welcome aboard curvaceous hostesses about and as soon as they got inside the aircraft they said, ‘Where’s the hostesses?’ I said, ‘You’ll have to put up with that bomb aimer today.’ He was in charge of them all, I hadn’t, I don’t know, working on the Lancasters.
RB: Did you enjoy flying the Lancaster?
NS: Yes, definitely, beautiful plane, it was one of the best planes I’ve ever flown in I reckon, but there’s Boddingtons, oh quite a few different planes, and, but the Lancaster was the best.
RB: When you were flying operations from Waddington did you have any incidents when you were over Germany?
NS: A few times, over Germany, actually ran out of petrol just about one day we were going to get home but ‘cos we went way out of place we went up over one of the didn’t matter what it was some other country up that way that wasn’t in the war and as I was going along I could see these aircraft, not aircraft, bombers big rockets going off and they followed us they were about two mile away at the time and turns about that, I said to the navigator, ‘Look at them because better alter the course’ I said, ‘We’re going the wrong way.’ And anyway after we come over The Channel, he said, ‘We better bale out get everything out and dive down to the North Sea’, and I said, ‘Well I’m not going to do that too bloody cold out there to get under water so I’m going to try and make England.’ And we made it only just not to our home base another aircraft, another aerodrome and the engineer there checked the bloody petrol down, and he said, ‘We shouldn’t have even it was empty, the tank was empty.’ Which means that we just managed to make it, but they filled me up with petrol, and the next couple of days we were there for a couple of days it turned out it was an American place and they treated us pretty well, we charged them a pound each to come round and have a look over the aircraft, we got quite a bit there was a lot of beer bought, all, all our money we had, all of it we got paid, but we spent most of the money on drink, and we’d all had a booze up.
RB: So when you finished bringing the prisoners of war back to the UK you were finished then, when did you get back to Australia?
NS: Well that Christmas, we got after the war finished in Europe we got back to Australia and as I landed all my family were there to welcome me back home. ‘Oh come on, welcome home, welcome home.’ And my dad was the last one he shook hands with me and he said, ‘It’s good to see you home, good luck Norm.’ And he said, ‘But I’ll tell you why, you better not tell me that you’re not, you’re not a boy anymore you’re a man.’ He said, ‘You’re smoking.’ And I said, ‘Yes dad.’ And he said, ‘Well you had to learn that in the Air Force.’ And I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘When I made the cigarettes for you there was five for you and one for me.’ I said, he said, ‘It’s the same with the beer, you used to drink my beer.’ When it was Fosters, Fosters. He said, ‘I allowed you to drink the bottle empty.’ And he said, ‘Pretty good beer wasn’t it?’ I said, ‘Oh yes pretty well.’
RB: So when you left the Air Force what jobs did you have?
NS: Oh crickey, dozens. I went up to [unclear] oh by that time I’d got rid of my wife, I married in England, I married a girl in England before I left and she arrived back in Australia two or three months later. On a boat what they called the bride, the bride ship because all the, all the women on it were brides come out to all the Australian soldiers they’d married and she did mine was the same. I think that she played naughty and one of the [unclear] and went farming and she started playing up a bit till eventually I caught her one night having a naughty with a boyfriend and so I told her that she better come, she told me to go and see her boyfriend and tell him to come for breakfast he’d run away, but he wasn’t running away at all, he just went away, left the place, left his pay behind a fortnight’s pay left that behind, and told her that he’d gone so she come back to me and said would I stop with her and I said, ‘Well okay.’ I said, ‘But don’t expect me to be a good boy a good man to you.’ I said, ‘He’s ruined everything.’ Anyway she put up with me for a bit, had a daughter, looked after young Kathy, Kathy was the youngest one, Kathy was about eight years, about eight years between the kids, and anyway she turned to me one night and had a couple of naughties with me and the next thing I know Kathy arrived.
RB: So now you’re retired and they're looking after you.
NS: Yes.
RB: That’s good.
NS: That’s right.
RB: Yes.
NS: Then Kathy and I went one day to see the ex-wife where she was living with a chap at a farm and she was living with him, and then she goes into hospital and the next thing I know she dies, so that get rid of her. I finally got another woman and finished up marrying her and then she damn well died on me too.
RB: Well Norman thank you very much for talking to me and doing this really appreciate it.
NS: Hopefully I remembered all, my memory is not so good as it used to be but at a hundred and, I’m heading towards a hundred I’m ninety-two years old at the moment, but actually I’m ninety-three in three months, March I turn ninety-three.
RB: Well I do appreciate it and I’m sure they will when we get, we get this back home, thank you very much.
NS: Well if there’s any question you want to know?
RB: I think you’ve covered everything I think you can remember, yeah that’s great I’m going to turn this off now.
NS: Righty oh.
[Background conversation over tea and cake.]
RB: I’m going to put this back on.
KY: Frank were you ever up at Metheringham? Dad was actually at Metheringham in the beginning and then he was sent down to Waddington later but his initial training and flights were in Metheringham.
F: Scampton, and Skellingthorpe all round there.
KY: So that area of Lincolnshire that’s the central area was there other major bases through England?
F: No this was the main base, Bomber Command was divided into several groups, we were 5 Group was we had our own pathfinders and we had the Dambuster squadron, [unclear] we had our own pathfinders and we developed the ground, ground marking of the targets as well, by Cheshire, Wing, Group Captain Cheshire the last six months of the war.
RB: That was with Lancasters again was it?
F: Yes.
RB: Did they use any other aircraft for that?
NS: Er, no, they Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes were used.
RB: Mosquitoes.
NS: Mosquitoes were used extensively by the pathfinders and also for um [unclear]. That was one of the planes I was looking for.
RB: What the Oxford?
NS: Couldn’t remember what plane it was.
RB: Have you still got your log book Frank?
F: Yeah got it here.
RB: Oh okay. So what’s gonna go, go in a museum somewhere.
[General background conversation]
KY: Unfortunately dad has his flying jacket the nice big thick furry lined one — it was left on the farm it was left on the back of the door. Unfortunately it got left there.
RB: That was in December 1944.
NS: That’s right yeah.
RB: Did your flying take the same sort of route that.
F: Much the same.
RB: Start with the Tiger Moth and Anson and Oxford.
F: Oxford, then Wellington, then Stirling, and then Lancasters.
RB: Yeah, yeah.
F: Virtually the same.
NS: Tiger Moth —
F: Great plane, great plane.
[General background conversation]
RB: How did you find the conversion from single engines, to twins, and then to multis?
F: The only single engine was the Tiger Moth that’s all it was very simple to fly.
RB: Yeah Norman says that.
F: But the Anson was quite good the funny bit about the Anson was made by the same people that made the Lancaster, there was still a bit of a fear that when you crossed the fence in a Lancaster there was still the same feeling as the Anson, it was built under the aircraft the same sort of buzz in the same way.
NS: Did you ever fly Stirlings?
F: Oh I flew bloody Stirlings.
NS: Bloody things —
F: Terrible plane, the back of the Stirling was like a big truck, like a big truck with a wing on the top [unclear].
RB: They were just hard to fly were they?
F: No they were terrible things to taxi because you had to have your foot outside foot here and you had to brake as well because to taxi you’ve got to put you’ve got to use your foot and brake at the same time and you just didn’t have enough hands for it, if the wind was blowing — And then you run out the air.
NS: Not enough air.
RB: Oh right, the air always. Did you guys ever bomb in Stirlings?
F: No, no, no, only practice bombing that’s all.
NS: When I was in the Air Force the best place every day was in the officer’s mess [laughs] down a few beers.
F: That’s right yeah. We had a before you start the Stirlings in the morning you had to turn them over by hand because the oil could run down into the sill at the bottom there get a little oil on top if you start it it would blow the cylinder head off all had to be turned over, turned over by hand before you start.
RB: You guys didn’t do that you had ground crew.
F: Funny enough we used to do exactly the same thing with the Shackletons which is a much later aeroplane but based on the —
NS: What still hand start them?
F: No, no, no turn them over because the oil used to collect.
NS: What stay in the bottom?
F: Yeah. We had a rather nasty accident to a nice young little WAAF when we were on Stirlings because the little WAAF’s used to be delivering things around the aerodrome at night in little Ford 10 vans and they got off [unclear] but the girls were not supposed to drive under the aircraft but they found that they could drive under the outside engine of the Stirling ‘cos the engine was very high and keep under it a couple of Lancasters came in one night the girl was three months out of training school and of course in the night you wouldn’t tell the difference between the Stirling and the Lancaster in the dark and she was driving under the outside engine and took the top off her head.
F: Only a kid out of drivers’ school.
KY: My mum was a driver but in the Army and she was English and she grew up in County Durham up in the North, and she was down driving at the same base where dad was, I think there might be a picture in there of mum and couple of others who she was friends with.
NS: There’s a photo taken in 2004 when we went to Coningsby and that’s where Bull Creek no that’s Coningsby, that’s the, that was Mickey the Moocher then. That’s a copy of Frank’s plane, is that right Frank?
F: Yeah.
NS: So that’s the Lanc he used to fly and that’s a replica, they made a replica of it. That’s at Coningsby [coughing] [unclear].
F: About ten or twelve years ago I had a phone call from the secretary of the 56 Squadron asking me did I have a current picture of Mickey the Moocher because on one of the next conversions of the Lancaster they were going to become Mickey the Moocher and they wanted it, I didn’t have any black and white photographs and I went down to the local library and found a Walt Disney book, and I realised Mickey’s, Mickey’s mouth always the same colour, always the same.
NS: Oh yes Walt Disney was amazing.
F: So they converted them, and when we were going to England with [unclear] I rang them up and they said, ‘Yeah come up, come up, come up.’ [unclear] We were walking [unclear].
NS: Is she still alive, and who’s the young fella?
Other: He was the one that was taking us around wasn’t he?
NS: He was the tour guide was he?
Other: After that he was flying.
F: He was flying the old AC4.
NS: So he can fly Lancasters?
F: Oh yes. He was, like we had we sat down, we had a wonderful time, we were allowed to go inside the Lancaster I think if someone could have but today she was only a test flight.
NS: Was it the brand new one.
F: No this is the one at Coningsby the one that flies every year.
NS: There’s only one or two, one in Canada and one in England, is that right Ron?
F: This was the one in Coningsby and you see they change the nose over every four years for various reasons and it just happened that Mickey the Moocher was right over there.
NS: How appropriate was that.
F: We were the only crew that flew the old Mickey.
Other: The young chap there he was the one that flew it afterwards, you know take it over.
NS: No he must be in the Air Force.
Other: We even corresponded.
F: A couple of years or so hoping he would come out to Australia and see us but he never did.
NS: Well Ron, Lincoln was on the news the other night, last night or the night before they had a big show on on TV.
RB: There’s two sections, you’ve got the memorial itself which overlooks Lincoln, and then you’ve got an archive which is actually in the University and the recording is for the archive, and they are hoping to put basically they call it our life story of air crew, Frank and Norman, from the time they were born right the way through flying different types of aeroplanes until they actually flew their Lancs and did the business as it was.
F: So you really haven’t been able to do that?
RB: Not with Frank but I’ve done it with Norman.
NS: You want to ask Frank if he wants to go and do that you genuinely want to write down your name and particulars so I can keep it on my notebook and email if you’ve got an email address.
KY: Frank have you been inside the Lancaster that’s up in Bull Creek Museum.
F: Yeah I’ve been in it but not for a long time no.
KY: We put dad in it about a month ago.
F: Oh yeah.
KY: And there was a lot of climbing over.
[general background conversation]
KY: There were a couple of places where even I struggled to get through and I had to virtually crawl through to get up to sit in his seat.
NS: No they were, they were a difficult aircraft to get out of [unclear] —
F: The pilots we sat on the parachute and we had full hardness, the rear gunner had the same so all the rear gunner had to do was to turn it to a side where and he could do it hydraulic by hand and get about six foot off the ground and open his doors and put his knees and go straight backwards so he could very quickly get out, we used to practice that actually and we’d play catchy catchy when he fell down just for fun. [laughs]
KY: ‘Cos dad said he didn’t remember there being that many things hurdles that he had to get through —
NS: Well you didn’t, you didn’t notice it when you’re twenty years of age.
KY: No I suppose not.
NS: No you’d be bouncing through the air. [laughs]
F: There all, there all parts of the aircraft, other aircraft have the same thing now —
RB: Name and address, website, er email.
NS: So Ron if you, if you want to put this interview together ask Frank if he’d be prepared to go in there on his own and you two talk. What do you think Kath would that be all right? [unclear]. Is that all right Frank?
F: Yeah okay yeah.
NS: ‘Cos otherwise we’re interrupting as, I’ll take it in thee and we can stay out here Kath is that all right? The bomb aimer forgot to put the switch on.
RB: Sorry Norman go on.
NS: The bomb aimer rang me up and told me we were over the target, but we didn’t bomb the target, I said, ‘Why not?’ He said ‘Well I forgot to put the switch on probably. No I didn’t did I’ Made him go back again and have another go. The air officer commanding wasn’t very happy about me doing that because [unclear]. Told me off about it I never did it again.
[general background conversation]
Other: Now Norman’s just told Ron about the time remember I told you in the car, the bomber didn’t release and he had to come back round the stream and redo it? Did that ever happen to you?
F: No I don’t think so.
Other: So the bombs always went off when they were meant to. ‘Cos he got in big trouble and got told off.
NS: I did the wrong thing.
Other: That’s easy to do.
NS: Well we survived.
[general background conversation]
NS: We had two Australians you know.
Other: Well where your two Aussies, yourself and who else?
NS: Warrant officer.
Other: So you were an Aussie and he was an Aussie and the rest were Poms were they?
NS: Yes.
Other: May be that’s what they did back then Frank, just had a couple of Aussies and the rest were Poms. These are all copies of your log book and everything.
NS: Oh yes.
Other: Yeah, they there are, there’s these incendiaries that he dropped. Didn’t you say that you had one of those stuck?
NS: We had one of the big ones, I think it was that one.
Other: The big cookies there. He had one stuck in his bomb bay and you had to do it freehand didn’t you?
NS: [unclear]
Other: Yes, you guys want to stay here, Norman I’ll come back out here with you.
RB: I’ll put your log book back in my bag when you go home, okay.
Other: That was a disaster, never mind. I could get this opportunity now just one on one. [muffled noise]
RB: It won’t take long Frank, just a brief —
Other: Linda could you turn the music off please there just going to do some interviewing.
RB: How do you pronounce your surname Frank?
F: Moritz or can be Morris, MOR ok.
Other: I’ll leave it with you.
RB: Thank you John. Have you got a small table that I can put in front?
Other: Oh for the thing to go on. There you go, turn that around that way.
RB: That’s great thank you.
Other: No worries. Put that aircon on for you?
RB: Are you comfortable.
F: No it’s all right.
RB: No you’re comfortable. No we’re fine John, John we’re fine.
F: Bits about our family Moritz had been in Australia since 1837 actually we were one of the early settlers in various parts and I’ve relatives all over Australia now.
RB: Right.
F: We were part of some Irish family because the original route to come over —


Ron Barron, “Interview with Norman George Smith,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 16, 2024,

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