Wing Commander Charles Learmonth, DFC and Bar, was a well-known flyer in World War II, who was based in Pearce, WA, and involved in the air search for HMAS Sydney. He fought in the skies of New Guinea, flying a twin-engine Boston attack bomber named She’s Apples. In January 1944 the then Commanding Officer of No. 22 Squadron, was killed at the age of 26 in a crash 30 kilometres north-west of Rottnest Island. Learmonth Airport was named in his honour.
In Wings of Destiny, which is an extensively researched biography of Learmonth and study of his character and achievements, Charles Page fills a significant gap in Australian World War II history. It is, page writes, ‘a story that needed to be told. The deeds of Charles Learmonth and his “band of brothers” deserve more than a shoebox full of aerogrammes held together with rubber bands.’
Charles Page is a retired international airline pilot with 15,000 flying hours to his credit, and the author of an earlier volume of aviation history, Vengeance of the Outback.