Ellers, Lyall

Lyall Ellers was born September 7, 1923 in Perth, Australia.  He and his three siblings grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, going to school and doing all the things typical of Australian youth at the time.  Lyall’s father was a Great War vet who worked in the mines – and who certainly worried about his children when he saw another war on the way.  When the time came, Lyall chose the Royal Australian Air Force, along with both of his brothers.  Frederick, Lyall’s oldest brother, was killed in an accident in India just as his two younger brothers came out of training, ready to play their part.  The brothers began their training, and both were selected as pilots, with Lyall chosen to go into fighter aircraft.  He trained on Tiger Moths and Wirraways, traveling from one base to another.  All the while the war was raging, and Australian troops were confronting the Japanese in New Guinea as the Americans continued their “island hopping” campaign in the Solomon Islands, steadily moving north and west in the face of heavy resistance.  Lyall saw his first combat in New Guinea, providing air support in the Battle for Shaggy Ridge.  His service in 78 Squadron continued through to 1945, by which time he was stationed in Borneo.  The war ended in August of that year, and Lyall was home in short order, demobilized and on leave until he returned to work in the insurance industry.  His brother married not long after the war, and Lyall ended up marrying the sister of his brother’s wife – two sisters for two brothers!  They all found their way in postwar Australia, newly minted civilians raising their families.  Lyall Ellers was interviewed over zoom from his home in Adelaide, Australia in September 2022.