Home » Creating an enduring record for RAAF personnel

Creating an enduring record for RAAF personnel

Royce Wilson    January 11, 2024    3 min read   

Calling all former RAAF service members – local production company Perfekt Studios wants to hear from you about your Air Force careers.

The studio is spearheading a project – RAAFDocumentary.com – as a long-term commitment to document the history of the RAAF with personal interviews, timelines, short documentaries, and other resources, all on one website free to the public.

Much of the RAAF’s more than century-long history appears across a multitude of books, squadron association websites, and in The Australian War Memorial archives.

The project aims to bring together the entire history of the RAAF, publish new interviews, and provide a launch pad for those who want to dig deeper into this important and rich part of our history.

John Dahlitz in a Vampire. Top image: “Huey” and “Sioux” in transit to the next fuel cache en route to Cooktown. All images: RAAF Documentaries / Matthew Dahlitz.

Vietnam stories

Recently the project team have interviewed a number of helicopter pilots and crew from the RAAF’s 9 Squadron, who have told amazing stories of bravery in Vietnam, including describing their experiences as a door gunner on UH-1 “Huey” Iroquois helicopter during the conflict or working as a co-pilot on operations with the SAS.

These interviews are on the YouTube channel @raafdocumentaries for free and are educating thousands of people around the world on the ‘job well done’ by our Vietnam veterans.

As a result of negative reception by the public towards returning Vietnam veterans, including RAAF personnel, many of their stories have remained untold and the project team are now gathering those stories – as well as others which have previously been published – in an effort to help document the history of the RAAF.

War and peace

The project isn’t just about the RAAF in Vietnam, however – it covers more than a century, across many squadrons and wings operating in many theatres of war – as well as peacetime operations.

Perfekt Studios aims to expand the scope of the project as each new story, photograph, and fragments of history comes in. They also hope it will provide a place where squadron associations, authors, and historians of the RAAF can become known.

Perfekt Studios is led by local documentary director, producer, and visionary Matthew Dahlitz (pictured).

Image: Matthew Dahlitz / Perfekt Studios.

RAAF personnel – retired or current – or their relatives who would like to contribute to the project are encouraged to contact the team via e-mail at RAAF@dahlitzmedia.com.

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Royce Wilson

Royce is Local News Publication’s Consulting Editor and historian. He has lived in Logan West for more than a decade and has been a feature writer and journalist for even longer than that, with stories appearing in a range of print and digital media both in Australia and overseas, covering everything from breaking news to gaming and technology to travel and history.