Len and Gladys Display

Gladys Saunders met her dashing ‘flyboy’, Leonard (Len) Waters, on her seventeenth birthday in February 1946. Drawn together by fate, Len and Gladys also found common ground in their shared wartime experiences. Their marriage, after a whirlwind courtship of two weeks, spanned forty-six years and produced six children.

Today, Len is recognised and celebrated as the only known Aboriginal fighter pilot in World War Two. Yet on his return to civilian life in 1945, Len’s wartime flying achievements received little recognition. He said to most people he was ‘just another blackfella’.

Less well-known is Gladys’ contribution as a Women’s National Emergency League driver for the United States Army in Townsville – a job she applied for after a friend sneeringly remarked, ‘they wouldn’t take the likes of you’.  

We invite you to reflect on the lives of two people, Len and Gladys, who volunteered to serve their country and their courage and persistence to achieve this against the odds.

Explore the display online.
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Event Details

09 April 2021 - 20 June 2021
Level 2 Exhibition Space