TRIBUTE: Armed forces representatives at the site during the unveiling of the memorial to Bert Hinkler. Photo: contributed
TRIBUTE: Armed forces representatives at the site during the unveiling of the memorial to Bert Hinkler. Photo: contributed contributed

Bert Hinkler memorial unveiled in the Italian Alps

THE man who organised the memorial to Bert Hinkler at the spot where the famed aviator's body was found said about 200 people attended the unveiling.

Kevin Lindeberg was taken to the spot on Mt Pratomagno in the Italian Alps in 1974 by the man who found Hinkler's body in 1933.

His body was found about 80m from the wreckage of his plane.

Mr Lindeberg said the unveiling of the monument on August 2 went very well.

"I took responsibility for organising the thing," he said.

"I was happy with how it went."

Mr Lindeberg said he was pleased there was now a permanent tribute to Hinkler on the mountain where he crashed.

He said seven people in uniform from the RAF, the RAAF and the Royal Navy attended the ceremony.

They included three people from the RAF's Squadron 28, the unit Hinkler flew with for part of the First World War.

"They had a sculpture of the squadron's crest that is now fixed to the monument," Mr Lindeberg said.

Mr Lindeberg said last year he went back to establish the exact site.

"I made an application for funding to assist in setting up the monument and that was granted," he said.

Mr Lindeberg later organised the removal of a rock from Mon Repos beach, where Hinkler started flying gliders, to the site in Italy to serve as the centrepiece of the monument.

And he was particularly pleased the event could happen in 1915 during the commemorations of the Anzac centenary.

"It brought together three of the allies from the First World War - Britain, Australia and Italy," he said.

"Bert flew in northern Italy in 1918 as a fighter pilot."

At the unveiling of the monument the Italian Alpine Club Arezzo Branch's 8.4km trekking path to be called the Hinkler Ring was also officially opened.

Mr Lindeberg said he was invited to cut the ribbon opening the Hinkler Ring with Australia's ambassador to Italy Mike Rann.

He said he hoped many people would visit the site of the memorial.

"All Australians should visit the site because it's a tribute to a great Australian," he said.



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