“WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”
On 9th November 2021 The RAAF Association, Townsville Branch conducted a pilgrimage to the War Cemetery, Belgian Gardens to remember those RAAF personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice during operational service in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. The pilgrimage will commenced at 9.00am and was attended by the RAAF Association State President, Branch Executive and members, representatives from RAAF Base Townsville and Townsville City Council as well as representatives from Townsville based Ex-Service Organisations.
Townsville was an important shipping port and air base throughout the Second World War. The Royal Australian Air Force maintained a base here for its own aircraft and for American heavy bombers used by the Allies in their Pacific campaigns.
In 1941 Townsville became the base of operation for an Area Combined Headquarters, established to ensure naval and air co-operation in North-Eastern Australia.
Because of the significant role that Townsville played in WWII and in recognition of the ultimate sacrifice made by service personnel during war service in the region, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission constructed this war cemetery which is maintained on their behalf by the Office of Australian War Graves. 222 defence personnel lay at rest here, of which 106 were members of the Royal Australian Air Force.
In the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the RAAF, the Townsville Branch of the RAAF Association took the opportunity to recognise those members of the RAAF who have passed before us, and who are interred here.
Branch Executives placed poppies on the headstones of the RAAF graves. This was followed by a brief service conducted by Rev’d Dr Wayne Melrose, RAAF Association, Townsville Branch Chaplain.
The RAAF Association is a non-profit organisation promoting social activities, welfare, commemoration events, aviation interest and the memory of fallen friends. The Townsville Branch of the Association generally meets at 10.00 hours on the second Sunday of the month in the Community Hall of the Bolton Clarke Retirement Villas, Rowes Bay, or when/where indicated on our social calendar.
Membership is open to all serving and ex-RAAF members, WRAAF, AAFC (formally Air Training Corps) Instructors over the age of 18, and members of other Air Forces and those with an interest in aviation. The Association has broadened its membership base to include spouses/widows, children and siblings of members of the Association.
Townsville Branch has been active for over thirty years. We always welcome new members, along with visitors with the above requirements that share an interest in aviation, or just simply looking for a social activity and meeting people with the same interest in life and meet the above requirements.
Townsville Branch is active in the ex-service community and attends briefings on special topics by Department of Veteran Affairs and attends other ex-service commemorations.
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