A tribute to Nelson Mandela
Sunday July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day. We pay tribute to one of the most remarkable social justice warriors in history.
Highly decorated WWII RAAF Flying Officer, retired insurance executive and company director of Peregian Springs, Noosa (previously of Mosman, NSW) passed away 21st December 2019.
Born in Sydney on 28th January 1922 to George and Alice Innes and married to Gwendolyn (now deceased) since 8th February 1947, Ian was a much loved father of twins Sue and Gai (PLC), John (Knox Grammar) and Sally (Queenwood).
Ian flew an Australian-crewed Halifax with RAF Bomber Command 78 Squadron (Yorkshire) and was shot down by Luftwaffe fighters over occupied France on 23 June 1944 at Mailly-Le-Camp bombing strategic targets to prevent the return of Panza heavy tanks and German artillery to the coast following the D Day landings.
He parachuted to safety and (thanks to a remarkable French teacher at Sydney Boys High School), evaded capture to then join a British SAS unit and local Maquis hidden in the forests fighting at the Battle of Chatillon-Sur-Seine.
Assisted by the French Resistance, Ian was eventually passed along a line of patriot helpers back to the advancing Allied lines, to England then returned home to Australia.
The British awarded him the Military Medal for service with the SAS behind enemy lines and he received France’s highest award, the Legion of Honour in 2015 recognising his service to France and the French Resistance.
Ian is the last surviving member of his Australian bomber crew. An RSL Poppy Service of Remembrance is to be held at 11 a.m. on 1st February 2020 at South Pacific Resort, 179 Weyba Road, Noosaville Qld to be followed by drinks, refreshments and colourful anecdotes. Interstate attendees can book discounted accommodation at www.southpacificresort.com.au (Promo code: VIP).
Noosa Heads 4567
Publication: Sunshine Coast Daily