ANZAC TRIBUTE: Historian Adrian Hellwig and pilot Jim Gollagher with the replica of Major Stan Dallas's Nieuport 11 in Nanango.
ANZAC TRIBUTE: Historian Adrian Hellwig and pilot Jim Gollagher with the replica of Major Stan Dallas's Nieuport 11 in Nanango. Jessica McGrath

Insight into the flyover for Nanango war hero

A REPLICA of a WWI plane flew over the Anzac Day parade at Nanango as a special tribute to an Australian airman hero.

Pilot Jim Gollagher, who built the Nieuport 11, flew the plane in honour of World War I airman Major Stan Dallas.

"I admire his dedication to his job, he was very determined to become an extremely exceptional airman," Mr Gollagher said.

The war airman, who was born at the Mt Stanley Station east of Nanango, paid his way to England after being rejected by the Australian Flying Corps.

"Anybody who met Stan Dallas, immediately found their next best friend. He was a great leader and motivator," he said.

 

Pilot Jim Gollagher sits in the cockpit of the Nieuport 11 replica of Major Stan Dallas'  plane in Nanango on April 25, 2019.
Pilot Jim Gollagher sits in the cockpit of the Nieuport 11 replica of Major Stan Dallas' plane in Nanango on April 25, 2019. Jessica McGrath

During his aviation career, Major Dallas amassed a total of 48 victories.

Mr Gollagher flew his replica plane over the Mt Stanley Station for the centenary anniversary of Major Dallas' death in June last year and again for the 2018 Remembrance Day commemorations.

The tribute flights were organised after he met historical author Adrian Hellwig who recognised the Nieuport 11 was based off the plane Major Dallas flew for his second victory flight during the war on April 23, 1916.

Mr Hellwig said Major Dallas had tremendous humility which he displayed right up until his last flight where his plane was shot down in 1918.

"He was always thinking of others, not himself," he said.

Major Dallas had spotted a young pilot who did not see three enemy planes flying above him.

"He went in and attacked those three planes even though he knew he probably wouldn't win," Mr Hellwig said.

"He attacked the three of them for a guy that probably didn't even know he was there."

Mr Gollagher said planes like the Nieuport 11 was used for mostly scouting during the first world war.

"They were checking the skies for enemy aircraft," he said.

 

Pilot Jim Gollagher flies the Nieuport 11 replica of Major Stan Dallas' plane over the main streets of Nanango during the parade on April 25, 2019.
Pilot Jim Gollagher flies the Nieuport 11 replica of Major Stan Dallas' plane over the main streets of Nanango during the parade on April 25, 2019. Jessica McGrath

The planes were fitted with a lewis 303 calibre machine gun which required the pilots to stand up and pull the trigger.

"They had to do that while the plane was virtually flying itself, they were incredibly brave men."

For more information about Major Stan Dallas read Australian Hawk Over the Western Front by author Adrian Hellwig.

South Burnett

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