A Red Baron squadron member shot down Walter Balmford’s plane over German-occupied northern France in 1917. With a bullet hole in his windscreen, the plane’s joystick useless, and his gunner Corporal Elliott badly wounded, Walter managed to fly the plane back across the front lines and land it safely.
After the war, Walter became an actuary and migrated with his wife and two sons to Australia. He became the Commonwealth Actuary ─ a position now known as the Australian Government Actuary ─ working closely with the Treasurer (later Prime Minister) J.B. Chifley: the two became friends.
I read your father’s memoir at breakfast. I ate it at one sitting, it was so readable.
─Geoffrey Blainey AC
I did enjoy this. Your father had a great career ─ RFC and thenceforth. Read it in two sessions.
─Peter Isaacson, AM, DFC, AFC, DFM, an RAAF Pathfinder Pilot with the RAF flying from the UK over Europe during WWII.