Guest: Wing Commander Peter Stuart Isaacson AM, DFC, AFC, DFM
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: 12th of November 2015, in Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 45 mins 47 seconds
In this episode, part of the Wings Over Australia sub-series, Dave met and interviewed WWII veteran bomber pilot Peter Isaacson, who flew Vickers Wellingtons, Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancasters with No. 460 Squadron RAAF at Breighton in Yorkshire, and then he and his crew were posted to No. 156 Squadron Pathfinder Force which was also flying the Lancaster.
Upon completing a total of 45 operations, Peter and his crew were then selected to fly a brand new Avro Lancaster out to Australia via a proving route across the Atlantic and the Pacific. They then flew the Lancaster from RAAF Station Laverton in Melbourne to RNZAF Station Ohakea in New Zealand (the first ever flight of any aircraft non-stop from Melbourne to New Zealand). They did a whistle stop morale-boosting tour around New Zealand before heading back to Australia where a similar tour was flown around the continent.
Peter Isaacson on the day of our interview
Peter during WWII with Lancaster “Queenie VI” in the background (via Wikipedia)
Lancaster “Queenie VI” which Peter and his crew flew all the way to Australia via the Atlantic and Pacific route, including crossing the North American continent. They also brought Queenie IV across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and did a morale-boosting tour over many towns and cities. She is seen here in New Zealand during that short visit. (Jim Wiseman photo via J. Berys Wiseman, for Wings Over Cambridge)
The music heard in this episode is “Diga Diga Doo”, by Bob Crosby and his Orchestra, provided by Matt Austin via his original 1930’s portable gramophone.