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This image has been sourced from the Australian War Memorial. Reproduced under Creative Commons licence.
W. R. Bennett W. R. Bennett i(A35978 works by) (a.k.a. William Robert Bennett; Bill Bennett)
Born: Established: 11 Jul 1921 Durban,
South Africa,
Southern Africa, Africa,
; Died: Ceased: 29 Aug 1988 Greenslopes, Greenslopes - Coorparoo area, Brisbane - South & South West, Brisbane, Queensland,
Gender: Male
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William Robert (Bill) Bennett was born in Durban, South Africa to Australian parents. The family returned to Australia when Bill was a child and he was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and The Southport School before being apprenticed as a fitter and turner. Bennett enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II and he re-joined the RAAF during the Korean War. His war service during earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), and his actions during the Korean War saw a Bar added his DFC, as well as being awarded the United States’ DFC and Air Medal.

During the 1960s Bennett ‘drew on his wartime experiences to write twenty-eight short, action-packed novels based on flying and fighting in the air. While not great literature, the books had a ring of authenticity, taking the reader into the air battle with their technical accuracy and appealing style. Most were translated into other European languages. He also wrote two espionage novels in the early 1970s’ (Australian Dictionary of Biography Online). At this time, Bennett was publisher Horwitz's main air war novelist.

A portrait of Bennett by Sir Ivor Hele is held by the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Most Referenced Works


  • This author also lists the following works (published by Horwitz) but bibliographic details could not be traced: High Fury (1966); War Birds (1966); Flames in the Sky (1967). It is possible that they appeared under different titles.
  • See also the full Australian Dictionary of Biography Online entry for William Robert Bennett.

  • The image of William Robert Bennett (see above) is reproduced from the collection of the Australian War Memorial:

    Title: Squadron Leader William Bennett (Ivor Hele, 1952)

    Oil on canvas on hardboard, 45.8 x 40.4 cm

    Reproduced under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC.

Last amended 16 Feb 2016 12:53:03
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