Title: Bluey Truscott – Squadron Leader Keith William Truscott, R.A.A.F., D.F.C. and Bar
Author: Southall, Ivan
Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 1958
Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 203 pages
Comments: The story of one of the most famous Australian air aces, Keith “Bluey” Truscott, a member of No. 452 Squadron, the first Australian fighter squadron to be formed in the United Kingdom. When war broke out in the Pacific he returned to Australia and joined No.76 squadron, which along with No.75, played a vital part in halting the Japanese advance on Australia, at the battle of Milne Bay.
Truscott joined the Royal Australian Air Force in July 1940, a move that attracted much publicity. He almost failed pilot training; among other problems it was ascertained that he had a poor ability to judge heights. In the words of the Australian Dictionary of Biography: “[Truscott] never fully came to terms with landing and persistently levelled out about 20 ft (6 m) too high.” This problem would come to have a grim significance.
Truscott completed flight training in Canada and joined No. 452 Squadron RAAF, flying Spitfires in England on 5 May 1941. He destroyed at least 14 Luftwaffe aircraft, was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and was made flight commander. Truscott was later made acting Squadron Leader.
In 1942, he was then posted back to Australia with 76 Squadron, flying Kittyhawks. By this stage Truscott was, along with Clive Caldwell, one of the most famous RAAF pilots.
Truscott’s squadron was posted to Milne Bay, Papua and played a significant role in the Battle of Milne Bay.
It was later transferred to Darwin, Northern Territory for a time, then Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. Truscott was killed in an accident in Exmouth Gulf on 28 March 1943. His Kittyhawk hit the sea at high speed, after he made a mock diving attack against a low-flying Catalina. The surface of the sea was unusually smooth that day, and it is believed that Truscott misjudged its proximity.