The English translation is printed below and reads 'I am an American (UNITED NATIONS) flier. My plane has been shot down and I am helpless; but I want to get back and fight again for the peace of the world and your country. If you will help me and yourselves by getting me to the nearest American unit, my Government will reward you well. Help us and we will help you.' Blood stains are evident along the right hand side.
Captain Peter Goldrick, RAN
In January 1941, at the age of 13, he joined the Royal Australian Naval College at Flinders Naval Depot in Victoria as an officer cadet. He graduated as a midshipman in 1944 and joined the British Eastern Fleet aboard HMS Kenya. He took part in operations in the Burma campaign and in May 1945 was transferred to the British Home Fleet where he joined HMS Birmingham. In 1946 he was promoted Acting Sub Lieutenant and undertook further training in Britain. He returned to Australia in 1947. On his twentieth birthday he gained his watchkeeping certificate, after service with the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japanese waters. Promoted Lieutenant in 1948, he joined the newly established RAN Fleet Air Arm. After completing over two years of training in the United Kingdom Goldrick was selected as a fighter pilot and was posted to 808 Squadron, attached to the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. In July 1951 the Sydney, with 805 and 808 Squadrons of Sea Furies and 817 Squadron of Fireflies, was sent to Korea and operational flying began in October. On 5 January 1952 Goldrick participated in a strike on gun positions along the Yesong River, on the north side of the Han estuary, close to the neutral area around Panmunjom. He was hit in the arm by a bullet during this sortie but managed to return and land safely on the Sydney. Goldrick continued as a pilot with the RAN for several more years, qualifying as an instructor as well as becoming the RAN's first jet pilot.
Sea fury HMAS sydney
Fireflies preparing to launch off HMAS Sydney