Family history shared ahead of Mother’s Day

Family history shared ahead of Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day approaching, it often serves as a trigger for families to share aspects of their rich history.

A similar trigger applies to Anzac Day which was commemorated on Thursday.

The two triggers were used on Anzac Day in 2024 when the heroic wartime exploits of a Millicent fighter pilot were recalled at the monthly meeting of the Millicent-based South East Family History Group.

The late David Delaporte grew up in Adelaide, spent six years with the RAAF during World War II and was de-mobbed in 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

He had married fellow Millicent resident Lesley Gordon a month after he enlisted and they eventually settled postwar on a farm at Thornlea.

The 45-minute talk about his life was given by his daughter and SEFHG member Liz Sutcliffe (nee Delaporte).

Among the 30 interested persons present were her daughter Jill Paul and her niece Sara Gray (nee Delaporte).

Ms Sutcliffe regrets that she did not ask more questions about her father’s life.

Mr Delaporte died in 1973 at the age of 56 and is buried at the Millicent Lawn Cemetery.

Her siblings Mary Sims and Ian Delaporte also died several years ago.

One of her father’s aerial exploits occurred in the Northern Territory in 1943 and made headlines across the nation.

His single fighter intercepted seven Japanese bombers which attacked a remote airstrip at Millingimbi in Arnhem Land,

As a result of his counterattack, the Japanese bombers turned back.

Assistance with the talk was provided by her life-long Millicent friend Rose Phillips.

She had lived for several years at Batchelor near Flight Lieutenant Delaporte’s base and knew the area well.

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