Leonard (Len) Walters is famous for good reason.

He’s celebrated as the only First Nations fighter pilot to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II.

Born in June 1924 in New South Wales, Len was the fourth of eleven children.

He went to school in Queensland before training to be a shearer, but the idea of serving his country was far more compelling.

You see, his grandfather served in the Australian Imperial Force during World War I.

Len was also inspired by the era of flight and joined the RAAF in 1942.

Len Walters in full flying kit (Source: QLD Museum)

He started out in Tiger Moths and Wirraways before graduating to Kittyhawk fighters.

During World War II, Walters flew a total of 95 combat missions, mostly ground attacks.

His Kittyhawk was named “Black Magic”.

Len Walter’s aircraft – a Curtiss P40 ‘Kittyhawk’ called ‘Black Magic’ (Source: QLD Museum)

After the war, Len went on to marry Gladys Saunders, a Women’s National Emergency League driver for the United States Army.

They had 6 children, settling in Inala, Brisbane and living there for 33 years.

Gladys Saunders and Len Walters (Source: QLD Museum)

Len Walters has been commemorated in a number of ways including post stamps, street and town names and even a park called Len Walters place in Inala.

The Forest lake Ward office this year is commemorating him in the lead up to ANZAC day in their “A Moment in Time” display.

Forest Lake Ward Office display

The Queensland Museum is also currently showcasing his legacy as a tribute.

For more information CLICK HERE.

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