Centenary of Royal Australian Air Force

Centenary of Royal Australian Air Force

Jan 01, 2021

2021 $1 Four Coin Mintmark and Privy Mark Set Uncirculated Coins (C,S,B,M) - Centenary of Royal Australian Air Force

Heroes of the Sky - Warrant Officer Len Waters

Born on a northern New South Wales Aboriginal reserve in 1924, Warrant Officer Len Waters was a Kamilaroi man who defied poverty and discrimination to achieve his ambition to fly. As a child during the Great Depression in outback Queensland, he made model aeroplanes from cast-off packing cases, seeking to emulate the feats of his aviation heroes.

In the Second World War, Len Waters enlisted in the RAAF on 24 August 1942. Training first as a flight mechanic, he was later accepted for pilot training. Posted to 78 Squadron RAAF, he served in the South-West Pacific Area in 1944-45, first at Noemfoor and then Morotai and Tarakan in what is now Indonesia. Flying a Kittyhawk P-40N fighter he made 41 strike missions against fortified Japanese positions, and another 54 operational flights.

Warrant Officer Waters was the RAAF’s only known Indigenous fighter pilot in the war. Post-war he returned to shearing, frustrated by government silence that greeted his applications for a civil pilot’s licence. When he died in 1993 the RAAF honoured him with a “Missing Man” flyover at his funeral.

Coin’s reverse design commemorates the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force

Packaging features illustration of WOFF Len Waters

Set contains ‘C’ Mintmark and ‘S’, ‘M’ and ‘B’ Privy Mark coins

Coin’s obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark

Australian legal tender

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2021 $1 Silver Proof ‘C’ Mintmark Coin - Centenary of Royal Australian Air Force

Heroes of the Sky - Wing Commander Robyn Williams

On March 31, 2021, the Royal Australian Air Force will mark its 100 year anniversary. Throughout its history more than 11,100 personnel, including 9870 during the Second World War, lost their lives serving their country. The RAAF has about 14,000 personnel and 4500 reservists. In recent years deployments included the Middle East and post cyclone assistance to the Pacific.

The role of women in the Royal Australian Air Force has increased markedly since its inception 100 years ago. Among the RAAF’s female trailblazers is Wing Commander Robyn Williams.

Williams initially enlisted as a cadet engineer in 1979 at a time when pilot training wasn’t on offer to women. Williams had her heart set on becoming a pilot from the age of 10 and hoped the bar would be overturned.

In 1988, she became one of the first women to get her wings in the RAAF after a 14 month course, and graduated top of her class.

Williams went on to become a flying instructor and test pilot. As a test pilot she flew 20 different aircraft including the Russian MiG-21; a supersonic jet fighter. She spent five years test flying the C-130J Super Hercules in Atlanta, US, ahead of Australia’s acquisition of 12 aircraft.

Coin’s reverse design commemorates the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force

Displayed in a presentation case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Mintage 5000

Coin’s obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark

Australian legal tender

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2021 $10 'C' Mintmark Gold Proof Coin - Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force

Heroes of the Sky - Air Marshall Sir Richard Williams

The Royal Australian Air Force will mark its 100 year anniversary on March 31, 2021. More than 11,100 personnel lost their lives while serving in the RAAF, including 9870 during the Second World War,. The RAAF has about 14,000 personnel and 4500 reservists. Deployments in recent years have included the Middle East and post cyclone assistance to the Pacific.

Sir Richard Williams is considered one of the fathers of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Born in 1890 at Moonta Mines, SA, Williams joined the permanent military forces in 1912. He learnt to fly a Bristol Boxkite and was the first military pilot to qualify in Australia.

Williams served during the First World War from 1914-18 in the Australian Flying Corps.

In early 1917 he showed extraordinary gallantry on a flying mission attacking Turkish troops while under anti-aircraft fire. He once rescued a downed pilot from enemy territory.

He was the first RAAF Air Marshal and rose through the ranks to leadership positions.

In 1941 he was sent to England to command the RAAF’s overseas headquarters and later Washington.
Williams retired from the RAAF after the Second World War and became the Civil Aviation director general; a role he served for almost a decade. He was knighted in 1954.

Coin’s reverse design commemorates the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force

Displayed in a presentation case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Mintage 2021

Coin’s obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark

Australian legal tender