Wartime flights | State Library of New South Wales

Wartime flights

By the start of World War II in 1939, Qantas (in conjunction with British Imperial Airways) had been operating an international flying boat service to Southampton for over a year. With the outbreak of war in the Pacific in 1942, the flying boats and Qantas crew were recalled from civil duties and pressed into wartime service. Unarmed Qantas flying boats were used for delivering supplies to troops. 

In 1943, Qantas and B.O.A.C. (British Overseas Airways Corporation, formerly Imperial Airways) recommenced the Australia - UK route, via Perth in Western Australia. This dangerous route was used to transport military and government personnel and, more importantly, diplomatic and military mail to various Allied overseas locations including India and Ceylon. The aircraft used on the Indian Ocean route included Catalinas and Liberators.

The brochure below dates from around 1943-45. It explains the flight to wartime passengers, including how to recognise the ranks of the Qantas crew.

Get the latest Flash player to view this interactive content.

Get Adobe Flash player

 > View the whole brochure on the Library's catalogue Link to catalogue