101-Year-Old Townsville Veteran Honoured By Oasis
Monday, 8 August 2022
A 101-year-old World War II (WWII) Veteran will be honoured by the Oasis Townsville, with the veteran organisation set to name its first Pee Wee Hut after Lillian (Lil) Somers.
The Chair of The Oasis Townsville LTGEN John Caligari, AO, DSC (Ret'd) said Mrs Somers served in the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) and worked in the ‘Ack Ack’ (Anti-Aircraft) Operations Room alongside the Air Force to identify all aircraft in the Townsville airspace and plot their movements.
“Mrs Somers is a born and bred North Queenslander who served her country during WWII. She enlisted as soon as she was old enough and after being accepted into the AWAS in July 1942, she completed her initial six weeks training in Brisbane before returning to Townsville to an operational position,” Mr Caligari said.
“During her service, Mrs Somers was stationed at the Townsville Grammar School which had been taken over by the military. She was known by her maiden name Gerahty and during her service from 1942-1945, was known as Gunner Gerahty.
“The Oasis Townsville facility supports veterans and their families and connects with WWII through the design of their four P1 Huts (better known as Peewee Huts during WWII), to not only provide a link back to the US 5th Air Force but also to now share these Huts as a meeting place that supports community activity.”
Mrs Somers still resides in Townsville.
Her son John Somers said his mother was thrilled to receive the honour.
“We are looking forward to showing Mum The Oasis Townsville and attending the naming ceremony. At 101-years-old, it is truly an amazing honour for her.”
The naming event for PeeWee Hut 3 will take place on August 9th 2022 with a ceremony with Mrs Somers, her family and team members from The Oasis Townsville.
The Oasis Townsville intends to name the four PeeWee Huts and Main HQ Building after a WWII Veteran, with the Townsville community welcome to submit an application, on The Oasis Townsville website.
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