amount of aircrew for a high attrition war was essential to
an Allied victory, and that the key to winning the ‘battle
of training’ was the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).
37,576 Australian aircrew graduated from the EATS.
Over 300 were killed whilst training for war and 9874
aircrew were killed or listed as missing while on active
duty. Those who fought under this scheme during World
War II amounted to just 6.7 per cent of Australian service
personnel serving overseas yet the aircrew losses amounted
to almost 25 per cent of all the Australian fatalities during
the war. This made serving in EATS among the most
hazardous duties of the war.
The Empire has an Answer was researched using more than
35 000 articles, from 150 metropolitan, regional, and district
newspapers, and what materialised was a story of one of, if
not, the greatest training programs the world has seen.
Follow the journey from the conception and implementation
of the scheme, through recruitment and basic training, flight
training, and then into combat. The individual accounts
woven into the narrative provide a first-hand experience of
the triumphs and trials of typical airmen and airwomen who
performed extraordinary feats in a time of great need.
The significant achievements and success of the Empire Air
Training Scheme has for the most part been overlooked in
our history, until now.