His mother refused to sign a permission form allowing him to enlist in the army, but that didn't stop Edward "Ted" James from making his dreams of flying planes come true.
The 96-year-old World War II veteran was presented with his 75th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate by Labor senator Helen Polley in Launceston on Wednesday.
Mr James reflected fondly on his time serving his country and is grateful for recognition of his contribution.
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At the time, all 18-year-olds were required to enlist in a service. Mr James wanted to join the air force but needed a parent to sign the permission form due to the casualty rate in World War I.
The day before his 18th birthday, his mother refused to sign.
At the time, Ted lived in Western Australia, his dad living separately - so Mr James made the two-day journey to visit his father and get and his form signed.
"Dad was down in Esperance, so I went down there, he signed my form because he'd been a war serviceman himself, so he signed my papers so I could be air crew," he said.
At the time, he was unable to choose where he was enlisted - but got lucky and joined the air force, where he trained and worked as a pilot at just 19 years of age.
He eventually trained other young pilots in advanced flying, specialising in short take-offs and landings.
"It was a good life," Mr James said.
The medallion and certificate were presented at a small ceremony, with Ted's family, including son Alan, watching on proudly.
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