Fascinated by planes, she enlisted in the air force

She was young, adventurous and fascinated by the planes she saw flying over her Newcastle home so it seemed only natural that Margaret Durrant would enlist in the air force.

Former WRAAF Margaret Wells: Awarded for services to veterans and their families.

Former WRAAF Margaret Wells: Awarded for services to veterans and their families.

It was 1959 and, after basic training in Victoria, she was posted to Richmond where she lived at the air base with fellow high spirited young adventuring women.

Margaret Wells OAM

Margaret Wells OAM

But her military career - which included learning to parachute as part of a remote area rescue team - only lasted until her marriage in 1962.

"In those days, you had to get out when you got married," said the now Mrs Wells.

In those days, you had to get out when you got married.

Margaret Wells

While she never returned to the WRAAF, Mrs Wells stayed in contact with many of her colleagues. Her involvement with a number of groups and associations has been recognised with an OAM for services to veterans and their families.

Mrs Wells, from Hazelbrook, spent many years with the WRAAF Association and the WRAAF reunion group.

She has been on the committee of the WRAAF association for over 40 years, currently serving as secretary and as welfare officer, keeping in touch with any members who might be unwell.

She also helped to take on the defence hierarchy - and won.

"I did a lot of work to get the Australian Defence Medals for girls of our era. They said we couldn't because we didn't serve four years. But we said that was because we had to leave when we got married."

When she got the letter about her OAM, she was "really chuffed", she said.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful. But I feel very humbled because I think other people deserve it more than me."