RAAF Historical Footage

Films from the NFSA, AWM, RAAF, British Pathé, and others

From the Film Australia Collection. Made by the Department Of Information 1944. Directed by Ralph Smart. Island Target shows the role of the Royal Australian Air Force in the invasion of the western Pacific islands during World War Two. This is the story of one squadron of Australian airmen whose daily job in the western Pacific typifies the spirit of the RAAF. The RAAF Kittyhawk squadron give air cover to Allied landing craft and an RAAF landing party clear land for a landing strip. P40 Kittyhawks of 78 and 80 Squadron RAAF are featured. Squadron Leader Leslie Douglas Jackson is identified.

From the Film Australia Collection. Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1967. The Royal Australian Air Force served with distinction in a number of theatres during the Second World War, in areas as wildly separated as New Guinea and Germany. The glory they earned was more than balanced by the toll on machine and men wrought by the pressure of conflict. This film is designed to show, both in actual footage and recreation, the history of the RAAF during the war, against a background of human effort and sacrifice.

At number one in the countdown of our most iconic aircraft, it’s the one you’ve all been waiting for: the General Dynamics F-111C.   Arriving in Australia in 1973, the ‘Pig’ was the fastest aircraft we have ever operated. Its innovated swing-wing design allowed it to fly at a top speed of Mach 2.5, or two and a half times the speed of sound.

Made by The Commonwealth Film Unit 1960. Directed by Jack Rogers. Amberley, in South Queensland, is the base for the RAAF’s Canberra jet-bombers. It takes piston-engine trained crews three months to learn about the aircraft and its safety devices. This film shows men undertaking the course and concludes with a crew making its first bombing run.

From The Film Australia Collection. Made by the Commonwealth Film Unit 1971. Directed by Stanley Dalby. made to celebrate the 5oth anniversary of the R.A.A.F. The history of the Royal Australian Air Force and the original Australian Flying Corps, showing action in World Wars 1 and 2, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam.

Made by The Commonwealth Film Unit 1966. Directed by John Abbott. In making this film about the Vietnam War, the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit did not look for battles and heroes. This was to be the story of the young Australians who were carrying on the standards of service begun by their grandfathers during the First World War. The emphasis was on people, both Australian and Vietnamese. The intention was to show what war really feels like.