FATHER OF RAAF DIES
"With the death on Wednesday night of Group-Captain Eric Harri- son,, who was known as the father of the RAAF, all members of the service, and, indeed, all Australians interested in aviation, must feel his
loss as the snapping of one of the last links with the pioneer days of flying," Mr Drakeford, Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, laid yesterday when he learned of Group - Cap- tain Harrison's death in Mel- bourne at the age of 59.
Mr Drakeford said Group
captain Harrison, who came from Castlemaine, went to England in 1911 to learn flying with the Bristol Co. In August, 1911, he received pilot's certificate No 131 on the world re- gister.
In 1912 Sir George Pearce, then Defence Minister, formed the original Australian Flying Corps, and com- missioned Lieuts Eric Harrison and H. A. Petre as the first senior offi- cers of that corps.
Group-Captain Harrison conducted the first flying course at Point Cook in August, 1914, and had among his trainees on that course the present senior-ranking officer of the RAAF, Air-Marshal R. Williams also Group-Captain T. W. White, MP.
Group-Captain Harrison comman- ded the Point Cook school until 1918. during which time he trained and sent overseas the first three AFC squadrons. In 1927 he became director of aeronautical inspection, a position he held at the time of his death, although he had been on sick leave for some months.
He is survived by a widow, a daughter of the late Mr George Prendergast, MLA, who is president of the Air Force Auxiliaries, and by a daughter, Flight-Officer Greta Stap- ley, WAAAF.
Group Capt. Eric Harrison