Editor's note: Don Charlwood (b. 1915) flew as an RAAF navigator with Bomber Command on regular raids over Germany and Italy. By March 1944, most of the friends he had trained with were dead. He remembered them in beautiful, elegiac prose.
Chapters 31 and 32
Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
'From the cliffs of Gallipoli, through the jungles of Vietnam, to the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, Australia's short history is a story of war.
'The battlefield has shaped the way we define ourselves - the Australian values of mateship, courage under fire, larrikinism - but few of us have witnessed these scenes firsthand. Soldiers writing from the front and journalists on the ground have formed the way we think about war and so formed the way we think about ourselves.
'In The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing, author and journalist Mark Dapin has gathered together the finest of these accounts. Starting with Watkin Tench's observations of an Aboriginal war party, we see the terror, confusion and occasional heroics of the front line through the eyes of some of our best writers, including AB Paterson, Martin Boyd, Patrick White, Alan Moorehead, Kenneth Slessor, Peter Cundall and Barry Heard.
'These remarkable letters, diaries, memoirs and reports remind us of our history, and of our responsibility in recording and remembering what happens in the wars we send our soldiers to fight. (From the publisher's website.)
yNo Moon TonightD. E. Charlwood,
Sydney:Angus and Robertson,1956Z2427931956single work autobiography war literature Don Charlwood, a wartime navigator with the Royal Australian Air Force, was posted in the winter of 1942 to 103 Squadron at Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire. Here he tells the breath-taking true story of a wartime bomber crew facing the hazards of bombing strongly defended targets such as Essen, Dusseldorf and Berlin, and writes sympathetically and understandingly of the hopes and fears of the crews as squadron losses mounted.