|Birth||14 December 1919 (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)|
|Death||22 November 2011 (Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia)|
Squadron Leader Beaufort Mosman Hunter "Beau" Palmer, DFC (14 December 1919 – 22 November 2011) was an Australian aviator of the Second World War who was recognised as one of Australia's finest wartime pilot instructors.
Beau was born in Toowong, Brisbane, the son of Carl and Florence (née Robinson), and the grandson of Sir Arthur Hunter Palmer, an Irish-Australian politician and a Premier of Queensland.
Beau was educated at Brisbane Boys' College, where he played in the 1st XV and also rowed in two Head of the River (Queensland) winning crews in 1937 and 1938. He learnt to fly while still at school gaining his pilots wings in 1937 at Archerfield Airport with the Royal Queensland Aero Club.
Palmer joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1938, was commissioned and posted to the RAAF Base Point Cook, Victoria as a flying instructor in 1939.
In 1940, Palmer was the first pilot to land at the newly established RAAF Station Archerfield and also was one of the first pilots to land at the new RAAF Base Amberley near Ipswich.
Palmer "pulled every string he could to gain a battlefield posting" and in 1944 assumed command of No. 5 Squadron RAAF. The squadron was operating in Dutch New Guinea and Palmer flew over 100 sorties in 1944 and 1945.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on Bouganville where he led an operation that destroyed three or four Japanese tanks in a CAC Boomerang fighter. The tanks were sighted by a New Zealand Vought F4U Corsair pilot which returned to Piva Airfield. Squadron Leader Palmer then led other Corsairs to the target and directed the attack.
In other operations Palmer achieved a direct hit on a Japanese hut at the southern end of Bouganville Island and in February and March 1945 supported the attacks at the Battle of Tsimba Ridge.
Palmer's war ended in late May 1945 when he stepped on an old American anti-personnel mine. His leg was subsequently amputated.
After two years of medical treatment, Palmer purchased Kareelah, a 200 Ha property at Warra in the Darling Downs. Almost 30 years later he regained his wings in the 1970s.
In later life Palmer was active with the Returned and Services League of Australia and contributed to saving Toowong Memorial Park from development. Aged 91, Palmer died on 22 November 2011.