WHAT'S ON: Watch secret mission in Return of the Catalina
UNSUNG war heroes are finally recognised in a new film screening at the Hervey Bay RSL in the lead-up to Anzac Day.
For the first time in more than 70 years, Australians will know more about a top secret mission that reconnected Australia to England at the height of the Second World War.
The Double Sunrise Flights were a series of missions that provided a vital lifeline between the two countries, carrying top secret cargo and VIPs for up to 32 hours non-stop across enemy territory, all in unarmed Catalina flying boats.
These planes were in the air for so long that the crews and their passengers would see two sunrises on their flight.
These missions successfully ran from 1943 until 1945, during which there were zero fatalities and no serious injuries.
The crews achieved what many thought was impossible, but sadly they were never recognised for their brave efforts after the war.
A new feature film being screened at Hervey Bay RSL on Thursday, April 21, will recognise these unsung war heroes for the very first time.
The Return of the Catalina follows a band of retired pilots and engineers as they restore and fly a Catalina flying boat halfway across the world, from Spain to Longreach, in order to preserve the memory of the Double Sunrise Flights.
On their two-year journey the crew faced catastrophic engine failures and blistering heat as they struggled to get this 70-year old aircraft back in the skies.
The last remaining pilot from the Double Sunrise flights, Rex Senior, was present when the crew finally touched down in Longreach.
"It's brought back all of the memories from the flights," he said.
RETURN OF THE CATALINA
When: April 21, 10.30am and 7pm.
Where: Hervey Bay RSL, 11 Torquay Rd, Hervey Bay.
Cost: Tickets $10.