This year’s Great Eastern Fly-In took place last weekend to rapturous acclaim, The free event is the largest aviation gathering held in the Northern Rivers region with 200 aircraft descending on Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome this time around.
Crowds enjoyed air displays, joy flights, Saturday Markets, a Car, Bike and Boat Show on the Sunday plus a display of model boats from Ballina. A special treat included a “squadron” of amphibious aircraft flying overhead as well as the Westpac Helicopter Service, Marine Rescue and of course the local Aviation Museum’s famous F-111.
This year the Great Eastern celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of RAAF Station Evans Head 1939 – 1945, where over 5500 personnel were trained for Bomber Command, 1100 of whom never returned. The Aerodrome was named as their memorial.
There were fascinating displays about the Station and lots of WW11 type aircraft flying. There were also many women serving there, WAAAFS, who carried out a wide range of jobs, including transport, including the ‘Dunny’ truck! On Saturday a group of WW11 military vehicles arrived for the day.
Event co-ordinator, Gai Taylor, said, ‘the contribution these people gave to Australia and the world was huge as Bomber Command had the heaviest casualties of all. For many of these young people this was the first time they’d ever been away from home and Evans Head remains a very important part of their lives’.