Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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First names
Peter Stuart
Wing Commander
Service No.
035959 (401068)
Date of Death
Hebrew Date
11 Nisan 5777
Hebrew Date
י״א בְּנִיסָן תשע״ז
Age at Death
How Died
Where Died
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Springvale Botanical Cemetery (Necropolis), Victoria, Australia
Service Details
156 and 460 Squadron, RAF attached from RAAF
England and over Germany
Author, Publisher
Age at Enlistment
Place of Enlistment
Melbourne, Victoria
Locality on Enlistment
Malvern, Victoria
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Country of Enlistment
Peter Stuart Isaacson AM DFC AFC DFM was an Australian publisher and decorated military pilot. He was the owner of Peter Isaacson Publications, publisher of various trade journals and suburban newspapers including the Southern Cross and the Sunday Observer in Melbourne. During World War II, he served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a pilot with RAF Bomber Command and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Force Cross and the Distinguished Flying Medal. Isaacson grew up in Melbourne and started working for a newspaper when he was 16. He joined the RAAF in 1940. Following his stint in Bomber Command, he became well known in Australia for his tours in the Avro Lancaster Q-for-Queenie to promote the sale of war loans and, in particular, for flying his plane under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1943. He transferred to the RAAF Reserve after the war, retiring as a wing commander in 1969. From 1956 he served as a Trustee, Chairman, and finally Life Governor of the Victorian Shrine of Remembrance. In 1991 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his publishing and community work. Isaacson was born in London on 31/7/1920 to an Australian father and an Austrian mother; his parents moved to Australia with him when he was six years old. Growing up in Melbourne, he was educated at Brighton Grammar School and started work at 16 as a messenger boy on The Age, where his mother Caroline edited women's features. All of Isaacson's immediate family would eventually serve in World War II: his father, Arnold, a World War I veteran, joined the Volunteer Defence Corps, his mother became Public Relations Officer in the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS), and his sister Joan became a photographer with the AWAS. On 8 December 1940, the 19 year old Isaacson enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). After completing his training in Australia and Canada, he was posted to the United Kingdom and joined No 460 Squadron RAAF at RAAF Breighton, Yorkshire, as a sergeant pilot. Operating Vickers Wellington medium bombers, No 460 Squadron had been raised under the Article XV provisions of the Empire Air Training Scheme and was one of a number of nominally Australian formations taking part in RAF Bomber Command's strategic air campaign against Germany. The squadron commenced operations in March 1942 and participated in 1,000-bomber raids against Cologne, Essen and Bremen in May and June. It converted to Avro Lancaster heavy bombers in October. Isaacson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on 6/11/1942 for "many successful night attacks on the enemy" with No 460 Squadron. The following month his Lancaster was damaged by a Junkers Ju 88 night fighter after a raid on Munich. Commissioned as a pilot officer, Isaacson was subsequently posted to No 156 Squadron RAF of the Pathfinder Force, based at RAF Warboys, Huntingdonshire. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 30/3/1943 for his actions during a raid on Berlin. His citation, promulgated in the London Gazette, read: 'One night in March 1943, this officer was detailed for an attack on Berlin. Following the attack and while still over the target area, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and severely damaged. The mid-upper turret frame was twisted, the perspex and 2 engine cowlings blown off, the aileron controls damaged and the aircraft forced down to 4,000 feet. On the return journey the aircraft was driven off the route and held in a cone of searchlights for 15 minutes; during this time a further loss of height down to 900 feet occurred. In the face of this perilous situation Pilot Officer Issacson, showing coolness, resolution and skilful airmanship, succeeded in flying his aircraft back to base. This officer is an outstanding captain of aircraft who has a fine record of many successful operational sorties.' Isaacson completed 45 sorties with Bomber Command, when the likelihood of surviving an operational tour of thirty missions was never more than 50% and, at times, much less. Promoted to acting flight lieutenant, he was chosen in May 1943 to captain Lancaster Q-for-Queenie on a landmark flight from England to Australia across the Pacific Ocean, and then from Melbourne to New Zealand and back, non-stop in both directions. He was awarded the Air Force Cross on 27/8/1943 for this mission, the citation noting that it was "the first occasion on which an aircraft has flown to Australia by this route and the direct flights between Melbourne and New Zealand are the first of their kind". The Lancaster was brought to Australia so that it could serve as a template for local production of the type, but this never took place and it was instead used for exhibition flights to encourage purchase of war bonds. On 22/10/1943 Isaacson flew Q-for-Queenie under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, flouting a 1931 regulation that prohibited such activity; the Lancaster remains the largest aircraft to have been flown under the bridge. Isaacson gave his crew no warning of what he was about to do and when asked later why he did it, replied "Because it was there". It was, however, reported at the time that he undertook the stunt to support the war loan effort for which he and his crew were actively fundraising. Notwithstanding the publicity the escapade generated for war loans, Isaacson recalled that when he landed at Mascot afterwards: 'I was threatened with a court martial. Two authorities wanted to court martial me: Eastern Area in which the crime was committed and Southern Command to which I was attached at the time. I was told later there was a great fight among the bureaucrats of each of these commands as to which would court martial me. Apparently they could not agree on which should be the prosecutor and the idea either lapsed – or maybe is still being pursued by the successors to each of these commands! 'In December 1943, following his promotional tour with his crew in Q-for-Queenie, he settled down to instructional work at an operational training unit before undertaking a further tour in the Lancaster commencing in March 1944. Post-war career: Isaacson stood as the Liberal candidate for Prahran in the November 1945 Victorian state election, but was defeated by Labor's Bill Quirk. His wartime commission was terminated on 21/2/1946 and he transferred to the RAAF Reserve. He was state commandant of the Victorian Squadron of the Air Training Corps from 1950, and commandant of No 21 (City of Melbourne) Squadron from 1961, before retiring in 1969 with the rank of wing commander. He also served as an honorary aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth II from 1963 to 1965. After working as aviation correspondent for The Argus in Melbourne, Isaacson set up his first newspaper, the Advertiser, in 1947; he established Peter Isaacson Publications the same year. The Advertiser took over other community newspapers and became the Southern Cross, which Isaacson edited and published along with Sunday Observer and various business and industry magazines. In 1986 Peter Isaacson Publications took over the Asher Joel Media Group. Southern Cross was bought by APN News & Media in 1993 and Isaacson became APN's director, serving until 1998. He chaired TW Media from 1997 to 2005. Isaacson married Anne McIntyre in Melbourne on 21/12/1950. The couple, who had known each other since their teens, had delayed their wedding during Anne's five-year struggle with polio and Isaacson carried his future bride to the registry office on the day. The marriage produced two sons. On 10/6/1991 Isaacson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia "for services to the print media and the community". He published As I Remember Them: Men and Women Who Shaped a Life, a collection of eulogies he had delivered for friends and colleagues, in 2012. In May of that year he was among a group of 32 veterans selected to attend the dedication of the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in London as part of the official Australian delegation. Isaacson was a Life Governor of the Victorian Shrine of Remembrance, having previously served as a Trustee from 1956 to 2000, and Chairman from 1983 to 2000. He and his wife lived in the Melbourne suburb of

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Australian Jewish Women Serving in WWII

Researched and Compiled by
Ben Hirsh, Past President & Life Member
© Ben Hirsh 2021

 anzac 2011

 2011 Anzac Commemoration from L to R
Chief of Army LT GEN Ken Gillespie AC DSC CSM,
VAJEX Australia President Mr Ben Hirsh,
VAJEX Australia Patron in Chief MAJ GEN Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE KStJ  

 If you know of missing names, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RAN   Royal Australian Navy
AA   Australian Army
AAMC   Australian Army Medical Corps
AAMWS   Australiam Army Medical Womens Services
AANS   Australian Army Nursing Service
AWAS   Australian Womens Army Service
RAAF   Royal Australian Air Force



 Name  Service Number  Service
 ABRAHAMS Frances  VF510172   AWAS
 ADELSTEIN née SLOMAN Elvira Ruth  N/A   RAN
 ADLER Louise  WF93739   AWAS
 ALEXANDER Florence Essie  177533   RAAF
 BARNETT Diana Rebecca  105591   RAAF
 BLIEVERS Zeeva  WR/1812   RAN
 BLOOM Doreen Louise   101157    RAAF
 BLOOM Meryl Louise   NF409448    AWAS
 BOAS Naomi  501221   RAAF
 BOLGRAAF (later CRAFTI) Eva  NF409447   AWAS
 BRECKLER Leona  113251   RAAF
 BRENDON Jill Kate  WR/2636   RAN
 BROWNE Barbara Esther  NF207388 (NX207388)   AA
 BRUKOWICZ Marisha  95358   RAAF
 BUND Liselotte Shirley  105454   RAAF
 BURKE Sophy  VF345705   AWAS
 CHURCH Eva Leila  95841   RAAF
 CIDDOR Ella  98524   RAAF
 COHEN Betsy Hilda  NF409542   AWAS
 COHEN Dorothy Rose  VF395600   AA
 COHEN June  97558   RAAF
 COHEN Leah  106021   RAAF
 COHEN Lysbeth Rose  NF464059   AANS
 COHEN Marcia  93063   RAAF
 COHEN Marie  105644   RAAF
 COHEN Meryl Derham  V345046   AA
 COHEN Meryl Louisa  VF389714   AWAS
 COHN Betty Augusta  SX10647   AAMWS
 COLLEY (AKA HOFFMAN) Hannah Lillian  113209   RAAF
 COLMAN Joan Rose  VX121316   AA
 CORRICK Sylvia Estelle  105962   RAAF
 COURT-RICE Ruby Miriam  98274   RAAF
 CRAFTI Pearl  QFX64362   AAMWS
 CRAFTI Rachael  102839   RAAF
 CRAWCOUR Jean Audrey  N391146   AWAS
 CROKER Golda Amelia  108236   RAAF
 DARE Jacqueline  NF409554   AWAS
 DAVIS Joy Gertrude  WFX17052   AA
 DAVIS June Phillipa  94484   RAAF
 DAVIS Shirley Katherine  176659   RAAF
 DAVIS Zena Phoebe  109137   RAAF
 EPSTEIN Betty Ruth  106401   RAAF
 FELDMAN Renee  WR/831   RAN
 FINKELSTEIN Beatrice  WF96162   AWAS
 FREEDMAN Nancy Amelia  VF345369   AWAS
 GADSBY Adeline  93406   RAAF
 GILBERT Molly Estelle  SFX25471   AA
 GINSBURG Reba Felice  106958   RAAF
 GISHEN Marie  VF517009   AAMWS
 GOLDBERG Betty Shina Isabel  104486   RAAF
 GOLDBERG Clarice Annie  107431   RAAF
 GOLDBERG Inez  455799   AA
 GOLDBERG Maxine Leah  NF453037   AA
 GOLDENBERG Freda Gertrude Sara  WR/1075   RAN
 GOLDHILL Vera Pearl  VF398041   AA
 GOLDMAN Mary Patricia  NF454465   AWAS
 GOLDSTEIN Elizabeth  98255   RAAF
 GOULSTON Edna Maude  WR/627   RAN
 GREEN Anne Constance  111470   RAAF
 GREEN Naomi  99457   RAAF
 GREEN Rachel Rae  99650   RAAF
 GREENSTEIN Esther  NF460437   AA
 GRINBLAT Hannah Dora  174189   RAAF
 GROENEWOUD Joan Margaret  VF389625   AA
 GROUSE Billie Miriam  98736   RAAF
 GROUSE Madge  NX145140 (N389090)   AA
 HARRIS Leila Crownsen  104689   RAAF
 HART Dorothy Caroline  VF345058   AA
 HARTZ Freda  103287   RAAF
 HERMAN Esther Erna  NF462723   AWAS
 HESELEV Carrie  VF346675   AWAS
 HESELEV Tamara  90526   RAAF
 HICKMAN Anne Elizabeth  WR/948   RAN
 HICKMAN Doris Florence  NF461543   AA
 HILLEL Katie Ethel  99516   RAAF
 HIMMELHOCH Enid Sylvia  NX34833   AA
 HOLLOWAY (AKA DAVIS) Vena Dorothy  106728   RAAF
 HOFFMAN Bertha Evelyne  103933   RAAF
 HOFFMAN Valda Victoria  NF461938   AWAS
 ISAACS Beryl Lilian  110947   RAAF
 ISAACS Hila Evie  VF396860   AWAS
 ISAACSON Barbara Joan  VF391191   AWAS
 ISAACSON Dorothy  105293   RAAF
 ISAACSON Lynka Caroline  V388729   AWAS
 ISRAEL Miriam  VFX121993   AAMWS
 JACOBS Doreen Miriam  114320   RAAF
 JACOBS Ethel  NF409156   AWAS
 JACOBS Rachael Miriam  NX122660 (N388075)   AANS
 JONA (later LADY COWEN) Anna  VF397043   AA
 JONES Norma Dorothea  VX29699   AANS
 KAGAN Freda  95155   RAAF
 KINO Phyllis Esther  97049   RAAF
 KOHN Eileen Margaret  96051   RAAF
 KOHN Miriam  NF461968   AWAS
 KEESING Betty  176431   RAAF
 LANGLEY Valda  NF461938   AWAS
 LASKY Ella  VF395685   AWAS
 LAZARUS Ellen  VX272   AAMC
 LEE Edna Rae  TF15635   AA
 LEE Valmai  94276   RAAF
 LEVEY Rahel Elizabeth  97934   RAAF
 LEVI Elizabeth Miriam  97407   RAAF
 LEVIN Carmel  F2682/19   RAN
 LEVIN Daisy Frances  VF396927   AA
 LEVINE Leiba  V378138   AA
 LEVY Anita Beryl  92421   RAAF
 LEVY Enid Yvonne  105675   RAAF
 LEVY Faith  VFX138621   AAMC
 LEVY Moya Miriam  178111   RAAF
 LEWIS Elizabeth  106675   RAAF
 LEWIS Loulie Maxine  SF84159   AA
 LEWIS Sara Maisie  97562   RAAF
 LIPMAN Gwendoline Lois  WR/1533   RAN
 LIPSTINE Audrey  Q266250   AANS
 LISMAN Nanette Lilian  WF90112   AWAS
 LYONS Zelda  VF391304   AWAS
 MANDEL Ada  105204   RAAF
 MANDEL Drazel Grace  98568   RAAF
 MANDEL Enid Bertha  95175   RAAF
 MANDEL Sylvia Noelene  90084   RAAF
 MARKS Maxina Isobel  92364   RAAF
 MASEL Audrey Evelyn  99706   RAAF
 MENDELSOHN Gwen Esther  VF395846   AWAS
 MICHAELIS Joan Elizabeth  VFX95841   AAMC
 MORRIS Bessie Esther  98512   RAAF
 MORRIS Betty Louise  NF481257   AAMWS
 NEWBURG Yzia  176594   RAAF
 NEWSTEAD Nanette  WR/2092   RAN
 ORBUCK Rita Miriam  104926   RAAF
 OPAS Roberta Judith  VF345938   AWAS
 PATKIN Norma  WR/2369   RAN
 PEARLMAN (later LEON) Celia  VX45572   AANS
 PRESSER née SCHOENHEIMER (later GROSE) Ruby Rika  101099   RAAF
 PROOSOV Phyllis  NF461885   AWAS
 PURA Anne  90086   RAAF
 RAPKE Betty Pearl  350249   RAAF
 RAWSON Roma Isabel  WF90869   AA
 RISCHIN Marcia  104412   RAAF
 ROBINSON Betty  108827   RAAF
 ROCHAWIN Anna  110312   RAAF
 ROSE Irene  VF398010   AA
 ROSE née ROSENBERG Phyllis Marcia  97777   RAAF
 ROSEBERY Beryl Maureen  92610   RAAF
 ROSEBERY Marion Olive  WR/2465   RAN
 ROSENBERG June  101734   RAAF
 ROSENBERG (later SMITH) Phyllis  VX116457   AA
 ROTHMAN Rose Ray  97364   RAAF
 ROUBIN Rebecca  QX57749 (Q268458)   AAMWS
 ROUBIN Ruth Rachael  98250   RAAF
 RUSCHIN Bernice Lois  95516   RAAF
 SAME Beatrice May  WFX35576   AA
 SAMUEL Phillis Catherine  NF453191   AA
 SASSON Rachael  111818   RAAF
 SAUNDERS Naomi  106285   RAAF
 SEGAL Juliet  WR/1195   RAN
 SEGAL Rose  WF90730   AWAS
 SELBY Doris Adeline  N108185   AA
 SHARP Nessie  W45784   AWAS
 SHARP Molly  WF57090   AA
 SHAW Lorraine Paula  109198   RAAF
 SHIRLEY Sybil Rosalind  VF395883   AWAS
 SHMITH Nona Hannah  WR/1440   RAN
 SLOMAN Betty  109172   RAAF
 SLOMAN Zara  501248   RAAF
 SIMON Amelia  VF388485   AWAS
 SMITH Betty  VF346733   AWAS
 SOLOMON Dorothy  108060   RAAF
 SOLOMON Jessie  95270   RAAF
 SOLOMON Sara  SF64816   AA
 STANTON Alma Gwyneth  VF346904   AA
 STEIN Joan Frances Lydia  90107   RAAF
 STEINBERG Lilian Ethel  VFX128429   AA
 SYMONDS Naomi  NX145216 (N409878)   AAMWS
 SYMONS (later NAPHTALI) Yetta Rae  WR/125   RAN
 TANNENBAUM Hinda  95308   RAAF
 TATE Vida Shirley  99638   RAAF
 TETEL Sabina Helen  NF456348   AA
 TRETHEWIE Rachel Crownson  VF388024   AWAS
 TROBE Rosmond  W39790 & F4413   AA
 VANPRAAG Margaret Dora  VF398108   AWAS
 WALLIS née COHEN Ethel  90665   RAAF
 WEINGOTT Rieka  NFX200355 (NX200355)   AAMWS
 WOLLFF Valerie Rachel  VF345273   AWAS
 WOLMAN Ruth  QF271349   AA
 YOUNG Monica Phoebe  93552   RAAF
 ZACHARIAH Olga  91073   RAAF




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