Friday, 10 July 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, honoured the service and sacrifice of some 35 Australians involved in the Battle of Britain 75 years ago.

Senator Ronaldson said that while no specific Royal Australian Air Force unit served in the battle, Australian pilots flew in Royal Air Force fighter squadrons during the four month-long battle against the German Luftwaffe, which began in July 1940.

“The Battle of Britain proved to be the first major Allied victory of the Second World War. Fourteen of the Australian airmen who took part lost their lives in the battle,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The Battle of Britain began following Luftwaffe attacks on shipping in the English Channel, as well as ports and harbours in southern England, in preparation for an invasion.

Losses were high on both sides, however, when the Germans launched what they hoped would be their decisive attack on 15 September 1940 they suffered a devastating defeat, which convinced the German High Command to postpone plans for the invasion, ultimately abandoning them altogether.

“We honour and commemorate the efforts of all the servicemen and women involved in the Second World War, including the Australians who played a role in the Battle of Britain, one of its most significant engagements,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The Anzac Centenary period is a time for all Australians to commemorate a Century of Service, honouring all those who have worn our nation’s uniform, including the more than 102,000 who lost their lives in conflicts over the past 100 years.

For more information on the Anzac Centenary, please visit the Anzac Centenary website.

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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