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2021 Heroes of the Sky - Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams
The Royal Australian Air Force will mark its 100 year anniversary on March 31, 2021. More than 11,100 personnel lost their lives while serving in the RAAF, including 9870 during the Second World War. The RAAF has about 14,000 personnel and 4500 reservists. Deployments in recent years have included the Middle East and post-cyclone assistance to the Pacific.
Sir Richard Williams is considered one of the fathers of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Born in 1890 at Moonta Mines, SA, Williams joined the permanent military forces in 1912. He learnt to fly a Bristol Boxkite and was the first military pilot to qualify in Australia.
Williams served during the First World War from 1914-18 in the Australian Flying Corps.
In early 1917 he showed extraordinary gallantry on a flying mission attacking Turkish troops while under anti-aircraft fire. He once rescued a downed pilot from enemy territory.
He was the first RAAF Air Marshal and rose through the ranks to leadership positions.
In 1941 he was sent to England to command the RAAF’s overseas headquarters and later Washington.
Williams retired from the RAAF after the Second World War and became the Civil Aviation director-general; a role he served for almost a decade. He was knighted in 1954.
Struck on exquisite 99.99% gold to the Royal Australian Mint’s proof standard
Packaged in an attractive presentation case with outer box
Extremely limited mintage only 2,021 gold proof coins