Search for the key pieces of Mildura’s forgotten war

left: Member for Mildura Ali Cupper with 2OTU Heritage president Anthony Koch and vice-president Sean Morgan, with  a model of the Kittyhawk Memorial Hall. 
Picture: Ben Gross

left: Member for Mildura Ali Cupper with 2OTU Heritage president Anthony Koch and vice-president Sean Morgan, with a model of the Kittyhawk Memorial Hall. Picture: Ben Gross

THE skies over Sunraysia were abuzz in the early 1940s as fighter planes darted across the region engaging in dogfights, performing bombing raids at Wentworth and spraying Gol Gol with machine-gun fire.

It was the height of World War II and the ­Japanese threat in the Pacific when Mildura ­became home to a major fighter pilot training base. 

For almost four years – between May 1942 and October 1945 – No.2 (Fighter) Operational Training Unit (2OTU) fully trained 1247 pupil pilots in the skies over Sunraysia before they were posted to their active service squadrons and, ultimately, the Pacific theatre of war.

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