26746 Corporal Douglas Harry LUSH
Douglas Harry LUSH was born at West Adelaide on 16 April 1909, the eldest child of John Harry LUSH and Carrie Francis LUSH (nee Douglas). His father had served on the Western Front as 2636 Sapper J.H. LUSH with the 5th Pioneer Battalion during World War One.
Soon after war was declared, Doug, as he was known, applied for enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force in September 1939. Agricultural was regarded as an essential industry so Doug continued farming sheep at Waitpinga and delayed his enlistment at until 11 June 1940, once he was satisfied air force pay would be sufficient to support his wife Hilda (Hilda Cocking STROUT).
Following recruit training at Laverton (Vic), Doug completed a flight mechanic’s course at No. 1 Engineering School located in the Melbourne Showgrounds, Ascot Vale.
On completion of the aircraft engine maintenance course, Doug was posted to No 1 Service Flying Training School (SFTS), Point Cook (Vic) on 25 October 1940. In September 1941, he was transferred to Mallala, but soon returned to Ascot Vale in December for training to be upgraded to a Fitter. In March 1942, Doug applied for an officer’s commission but after extensive testing and interviews, his application was not approved; the reason given was “insufficient background experience”. Following the fitter’s course, he was re-mustered as a Fitter IIE (engine) and transferred back to Point Cook on 18 April 1942. In the meantime, Doug’s younger brother Arthur enlisted in the 2nd AIF on 10 January 1942. In July 1942 Doug was promoted to Leading Aircraftman (LAC), which was followed by a transfer to No 1 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) in December 1943, also at Point Cook.
Now with considerable experience in maintaining the engines of training aircraft, Doug was transferred in May 1944 to No 6 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) at Mallala, South Australia. Promoted to corporal in July 1945, he remained there until his completion of service.
Whilst Doug did not serve overseas, he was one of the many airmen and airwomen who provided the many necessary essential services and support, which enabled flying schools to successfully train pilots.
Corporal Douglas Harry Lush was discharged from the RAAF in South Australia on 12 November 1945 and he took up residence at McLaren Vale.
Doug Lush died on 31 May 199 and is interred in the Victor Harbor Cemetery (Rose Bed 6 area). He was survived by his widow Hilda and their five children.
Douglas Gillison, Australia in the War of 1939-1945, Series 3 – Air, Volume I, Royal Australian Air Force, 1939-1942, 1st edition, 1962, Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
Australian War Memorial Collection Database ( www.awm.gov.au ).
Website – Ozatwar – www.ozatwar.com
Service file of 26746 Douglas Harry LUSH purchased from the National Archives of Australia. The purchase of the service files of men and women listed on the Waitpinga Honour Roll Boards was made possible through a grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Compiled by the Victor Harbor RSL History Research Team, February 2013.