Living life to the full

A remarkable 99-year-old former fighter pilot, Henry Young, was one of the oldest attendees at the Pacific Airshow Gold Coast in late August.

CAPTIONAir Force Roulette pilot Flight Lieutenant Ben Price, left, Air Force Veteran Henry Young, centre, and Air Commodore Micka Gray, right, at Pacific Airshow Gold Coast. Story by Flight Lieutenant Gerard Reed. Photos by Leading Aircraftwoman Taylor Anderson.

Born in Glenelg in Adelaide, Henry served in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm with 805 Squadron as well as earlier in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Volunteer Reserve and later the RAN.

During his time in service, Lieutenant Young flew a range of aircraft, from biplanes such as the Boeing Stearman to the naval variant of the Supermarine Spitfire the Seafire and the Hawker Sea Fury, and did flying training in the Vought F4U Corsair in the United States of America during WW2.

He later become adept at landing on aircraft carriers, with each airframe having its own challenges as the carriers pitched and tossed due to sea and weather conditions.

Mr Young said flying the iconic Spitfire aircraft was like putting on an overcoat – you just fitted into it.

Mr Young, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in September, has recorded a lifetime of achievements encompassing remarkable flying experiences, which continued postwar with the RAN, to farming and agricultural innovations.

He is also passionate about tennis, notching up a number of masters games successes and earning the applause of the Rod Laver Arena crowd at the beginning of the Australian Open earlier this year.


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