The second episode of IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS consolidated the program’s excellent premiere and increased its viewing audience in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, to total 1.06 million.
Episode Two featured the short but extraordinary life of RAAF fighter pilot, Tony Boyd, who fought and died at just 22 in the crucial Battle for Malta in the Mediterranean in World War II, as the Allies desperately tried to break the Nazi siege of the island.
Tony Boyd’s great niece, Queensland mother of three, Megan McDonald, shares his love of flying and is training to be a pilot. We joined her as she retraced Tony Boyd’s footsteps and tried to understand what it must have felt like as each day he put his life on the line as a fighter pilot flying Hurricanes and Spitfires against the dominant Luftwaffe in the skies over Malta.
A heady amalgam of historic footage, computed-generated re-creations and breathtaking aerials (in which Megan takes to the skies in a Spitfire) gave us a chilling impression of the thrills and dangers of combat flying.
We learned that Tony Boyd was a heroic pilot - one of the finest of that brave band of young individuals who fought man-to-man above Malta against enormous odds to keep the Luftwaffe at bay. Such was the bravery and resilience of the Maltese people in withstanding the Nazi siege that the entire nation was awarded the George Cross, the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
Megan McDonald was surprised to find that the people of Malta have never forgotten Tony Boyd and his sacrifice.
Next Sunday’s episode features an enthralling story centred on Gallipoli, in which a father and son head off in search of their forebears, another father and son team, on the tragic Gallipoli peninsula.