The Cross in the Sky

July 3, 2017
55 Years of Nursing
December 29, 2016

The Cross in the Sky

The story of Charles 'Moth' Eaton, Pathfinder for International Peacekeeping

by Charles Eaton

The Cross in the Sky, is a narrative of war and adventure that led to rehabilitation and peacekeeping.

Reporting to his Territorial unit on August 1 1914, 18 year-old Private Charles Eaton embarked on a journey of service throughout the entirety of both world wars. The story is also a sixty-year romance with Beatrice Rose Godfrey who, chancing upon an advertisement in a three-month-old fish and chip wrapping, altered their lives forever.

Charles Eaton served in the First World War as a trench raider, a reconnaissance pilot and ultimately, a prison-of-war escapee.

Charles became a pioneer aviator. First, as a pilot on the world’s first international air service ferrying delegates to the Paris Peace Conference, then participating in the first aerial survey of India and searching for lost airmen in Australia’s Tanami desert.

During World War Two Charles established the air defences of Australia’s northern approaches, enlisting Indigenous Australians into the wartime RAAF. Bomber squadrons under his command also attacked Japanese positions in West Papua and the Lesser Sunda Islands for which he was knighted by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and awarded a citation by George VI. In January 1945, Charles was appointed Air Officer Commanding, Southern Area RAAF.

In 1947, his robust initiatives launched the first United Nations military observers to monitor conflict. Charles recommended to the UN’s Security Council joint military policing a decade before his proposal was accepted. As Australia’s first diplomatic representative to Indonesia, he laid the foundations of Australia -Indonesian bi-lateral relations.

Thirty vignettes describe Charles Eaton’s adventures and those of the personalities and units in which he served.

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