Thelma Zimmerman: WAAAF Veteran/War Widow

Posted on: Mon 17 Jun 2019

It’s 97 years to the day since World War One Veteran George Kinsman walked into the local Police Station to proudly register the birth of his darling daughter.  Little did George know what life would throw down for the little bundle of joy sleeping peacefully back home.

10th Battalion, France, Gassed, The Depression, Struggle Street, World War 2,  Tobruk, El Alamein, POW (Prisoner of War), Escape, Italy, Switzerland, South West Pacific Theatre of War,  RAAF, WAAAF  (Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force), War Widow, Family, Friends, Altitude record, Wackett Recovery, The War Widows Guild. These words all figure prominently in Thelma’s memory as she sits with us in her lounge-room and talks with love, humour and a positive attitude about what has transpired in a long and fulfilling life.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Photos all provided by Thelma Zimmerman and used with permission.

Main Photo  Thelma and Alby Zimmerman WW2  WAAAF and RAAF

  1.  Thelma Zimmerman (nee Kinsman) 2019
  2.   George William Kinsman (Thelma’s father) WW1
  3.   George Kinsman’s widow Jane with their 12 children
  4.  Men of 14 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF come ashore at Morotai in September 1944. [AWM OG1641]
  5.  1945. Tarakan Airstrip was repaired against almost hopeless odds by RAAF Airfield Construction Sqns AWM 110302



Footnote:  Thelma’s brother William (Bill) Kinsman was instrumental in the recovery of the wreck of Sqn Leader Wilbur Wackett and Observer Keith Noble’s aircraft from a remote region of the  Northern Territory.

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