Vern Roberts reaches 100 in October! He is possibly the oldest living person who witnessed the signing of the Surrender in Morotai with General Sir Thomas Blamey and the Japanese Generals on September 9th 1945 .
He was born 25th October 1924 in Footscray in Melbourne. At 18 he joined the RAAF in November 1942 and reported to Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne for uniforms.
Vern, V.F. Roberts RAAF 120410 LAC Fitter, was stationed at East Sale air base only a matter of weeks after it first opened in 1943. He was in a B-24 Liberator Squadron which was attached to 82 Wing of 21, 23 and 24 squadrons. He spent time in Tocumwal, NSW and Darwin NT.
The signing of the Instrument of Surrender was carried out on Morotai on September 9th, 1945 where he was present along with many other servicemen. The General in Charge with his other Officers, was General Sir Thomas Blamey. Japanese Generals were brought over to Morotai from the islands for that great occasion.
Every ANZAC Day, he walked in the Parade to the Shrine of Remembrance along with a very few remaining gentlemen from his Squadron. At 94, it was the last time he participated in the march and now watches the ANZAC service on television.
Since 1994 he was heavily involved in the restoration of a B24 Liberator in Werribee, Victoria. This restoration is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and accredited by the National Trust.