Autobiography details passion for air power

Invited to a War, a new edition of the autobiography of Air Vice Marshal Alan Reed, was launched at RAAF Base Laverton on July 24, the first anniversary of his passing.

CAPTION: Deputy Chief of Air Force Air Vice Marshal Stephen Meredith delivers the keynote address at the book launch of Invited to a War at RAAF Base Laverton. Story by Flight Lieutenant Karyn Markwell. Photo by Squadron Leader Anna Williams.

Friends and family members of Air Vice Marshal Reed – along with VIP guest Deputy Chief of Air Force Air Vice Marshal Stephen Meredith – gathered at the launch event, which included a fitting tribute to Air Vice Marshal Reed and a flypast of a historical CAC Winjeel by No. 100 Squadron.

“As our Air Force looks towards our second century there is much for the next generation to learn from pioneers like Alan Reed,” Air Vice Marshal Meredith said.

“Within these pages lie a sincere passion for air power, an appetite for risk, boundless ingenuity, and the unbridled joy of living life right on the ragged edge of aviation technology.”

Invited to a War provides an account of Air Vice Marshal Reed’s Air Force career, starting as a National Service trainee in Perth in 1952, to ultimately commanding more than 12,000 people within RAAF Support Command.

Along the way, Air Vice Marshal Reed flew a wide variety of RAAF aircraft, including the maritime version of the Lincoln, the Canberra, the F-4E Phantom and the F-111.

A highlight of his career was serving as one of only six RAAF pilots to fly Phantoms on exchange with the United States Air Force (USAF) during the Vietnam War. Air Vice Marshal Reed flew more than 100 reconnaissance missions, for which he was awarded the USAF Distinguished Flying Cross.

Air Vice Marshal Reed passed away on July 24, 2021, during one of Victoria’s COVID lockdowns. The launch event was therefore a welcome opportunity for Air Vice Marshal Reed’s friends and family members to come together to remember his life and honour his service to Australia.

“I feel so blessed to be so supported by the Air Force,” Mr Cameron Reed, Air Vice Marshal Reed’s son, said.

The book, published by History and Heritage – Air Force, draws upon the content of Air Vice Marshal Reed’s autobiography, also titled Invited to a War, with additional content and imagery that illustrate his impressive aviation career.

Invited to a War is now available to purchase from Big Sky Publishing.





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