Leslie winged it

The 18-year-old bomber pilot had only months earlier learnt how to fly the Avro Anson, a twin-engine trainer, before being sent to search for enemy ships and their aircraft off the West Australian coast.

�I was called into the flight commander�s office one morning,� he said.

�The night before, the commanding officer said the Japanese fleet has been lost and they think it�s coming down the coast. I was selected to go and look for it.

�I wouldn�t have lasted more than 30 seconds against the Zeros (fighter aircraft) they had.

�But fortunately I came back and I had seen nothing.�

From an early age, Mr Jubbs was eager to join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and earn his wings.

In May 1943, the young air force cadet entered the RAAF and was sent to No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School at Cunderdin to learn how to fly single-engine Tiger Moths.

�It was sheer excitement; that�s what young men did who were interested in flying.

�But I was the worst person to go into the air force because I suffered air sickness.�

A new instructor helped Mr Jubbs through his air sickness by taking him on an instrument flying training exercise.

Once they reached 5000 feet, Mr Jubbs was instructed to spin the plane and recover while �under the hood� (restricted visibility outside the cockpit)

The restricted outside view removed any outside spinning motion, and he was cured of his air sickness and soon went flying solo.

Mr Jubbs completed his initial 60-hour flight training on the Tiger Moth and was sent to the No. 4 Service Flying Training School at the RAAF station in Geraldton: a more advanced training school for pilots, which operated twin-engine Avon Anson aircraft.

It was from Geraldton that Mr Jubbs was sent to search for the Japanese naval fleet.

After he undertook the mission, he was posted to England. He arrived ready to join an Air Crew, which carried out bombing raids, but would find out he was not needed.

�There were hundreds of young pilots wandering around, doing nothing, just filling in time. There was talk that they might be sending us to Burma; how true this was, I have no idea.�

Mr Jubbs was sent on advanced flying courses 12 months after he arrived in England; an indication there were plans for him to join a squadron.

But, the war ended and Mr Jubbs was sent home on a British ship for Fremantle.

�I did feel like I was a good pilot � I�ve never said that to anyone � but I felt as though I was quite competent with what I was doing,� he said.

�I could cope with the flying and navigation and I could get back on the ground. That was the reality, because if you can�t get back on the ground, you�re not going to last very long.�

Mr Jubbs left the RAAF with no incidents after three years of service following the end of World War II.

For years after the war he felt disappointment that he never flew in bomber command, but when the statistics were later revealed he realised he was one of the lucky ones.