A 95-year-old World War II veteran has called for the Heritage Listing of the historic Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome at the national level.
Dr Jack Bell made the call at the official unveiling of the F-111 and refurbished Bellman Hangar at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome last weekend,
Jack Bell trained at No 1 Bombing and Gunnery School at Evans Head in 1940 under the Empire Air Training Scheme and served in north Africa with the RAAF.
Mr Bell was badly wounded and burnt when his plane was shot down and he spent three years in a POW camp in Germany in very difficult conditions on starvation rations.
More than 1,000 of his comrades-in-arms who trained at Evans Head were killed during the war.
An emotional Mr Bell said that the work of the Evans Head Living Museum in preserving the history of Evans Head during World War II, particularly with regard to the records of those who served in Bomber Command, which had a very high mortality rate, was very important to veterans.
At the end of his address Mr Bell was given a standing ovation by an emotionally engaged audience.
Mr Bell spoke with Dr Brendan Nelson, director of the Australian War Memorial, at the unveiling ceremony and gave his strong support for the work being done at Evans Head.
The Evans Head Living Museum has established a connection with Bomber Command in Hendon, England, which Mr Bell visited recently.
Hendon has records of RAAF personnel who served in RAF squadrons during the war.
Established in 2003, the Evans Museum has as one of its major themes the World War II history of Evans Head and has published the volume Wings at War: The RAAF at Evans Head 1939–1945.
The Aerodrome was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register in November 2002 following a NSW state government cabinet meeting at Evans Head.