No 6 in the Australian Air Campaign Series
The life of Air Vice-Marshal Alan Reed AO is one that could read like a ‘boy’s own adventure’. From humble beginnings as a National Service trainee in Perth in 1952, Alan’s career took him all the way to the rank of Air Vice-Marshal and in command of over 12,000 people within the RAAF Support Command organisation. Along the way Alan flew a wide variety of RAAF aircraft, including the maritime version of the Lincoln, the Canberra bomber, the F-4E Phantom and the F-111. His experiences included fortuitously being removed from a doomed Lincoln flight that crashed into Mt Superbus in South-East Queensland, a 24-day aroundthe
world trip in a Canberra formation, and his opportunities to fly both the Phantom and the F-111C in RAAF service.
Alan was also privileged to be one of only six RAAF pilots to fly Phantoms on exchange with the USAF during the Vietnam War, where he flew over 100 reconnaissance missions during a 179 temporary duty assignment, receiving the USAF Distinguished Flying Cross.
Alan passed away on 24 July 2021, not before he had the chance to reminisce with many of his compatriots at the Air Force’s centenary commemorations on 31 March 2021.
This book draws upon the content of Alan’s autobiography, also entitled Invited to a War, and presents the episodes of Alan’s life in the RAAF. It tells the story of a man who dedicated his life to the RAAF and, despite the highs and lows of any service career, never lost his passion for flying.