Harold “Mac” Macklinay Ford

Royal Australian Air Force - Veterans’ Voices

Mac Ford shares his memories of 1940s Melbourne, the repatriation of Australian prisoners of war from Singapore in 1945, and his introduction to computers.

Interview produced by the Shrine of Remembrance for WWII at Home. Interviewer: Megan Spencer.

A colour photograph of an elderly man in a shirt and Australian War Memorial jacket. He has a name badge with the name Mac and the words Volunteer Guide written below.

Hailing from the Western Plains of Victoria, Harold “Mac” Macklinay Ford enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) immediately after his birthday in 1943.

Mac undertook training in Geelong, becoming a flight rigger, and “first met an airplane” at Base Mallala in South Australia working on Avro Ansons. With No. 99 Squadron he worked on B-24 Liberators, and Catalina Flying Boats with No. 112 Air-Sea Rescue Flight.

In 1945, Mac was transferred to Darwin where he served as part of the operation bringing Australian prisoners of war home from Singapore.

Mac discharged from the air force in 1946, married, and worked on Victoria’s first state-owned hydro-electric scheme.

A black and white photograph of a row of military bomber planes on a runway. Liberator bomber aircraft of No. 99 Squadron RAF of Eastern Air Command's Strategic Air Force. Australian War Memorial.

Wellbeing

We acknowledge the trauma experienced through conflict is a cross-generational lived experience for veterans and their families. If support is required, please seek counselling or support through Open Arms, Beyond Blue, Lifeline or your local ex-service organisation.

Open Arms—Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling, group programs and suicide prevention training for current and ex-serving ADF personnel, and their families. Call 1800 011 046 or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au.

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Lifeline Crisis Hotline: 13 11 14