Fifty years before Fine Cotton, Australia was electrified by a series of audacious racing ring-ins starring a champion horse named Erbie. The man who exposed the conspiracy? Bert “Cardigan” Wolfe, Australia’s top turf writer, who’d recently witnessed Phar Lap’s greatest moment — and then his last.

Erbie — and the horses he ran as.
Phar Lap in Mexico in 1932 — Bert “Cardigan” Wolfe brought every detail of the Red Terror’s triumph to Australian newspaper readers.
Bert Wolfe — known as “Cardigan” was Australia’s leading turf writer
for the better part of 50 years.
Cardigan’s scoops dominated the front pages for days.

As 1940 starts and the “Phoney War” ends, Australian RAF Bomber Command pilot Jim Brough flies ever-more dangerous missions against the Nazis and faces death again and again — wondering how long it’ll be before his number is up and whether a fortune teller’s prediction will come true.

Jim carried this silk map on missions — it was his escape route from France if he should survive being shot down and bailing out.
Jim flew with Ferry Command, one of the least-known
but most-vital missions in World War II.
The wreckage from Jim’s Wellington bomber in February 1940.

Born in Perth and raised in Hobart, James Brough joined the RAAF as a cadet in 1936. The following year, he enlisted in the RAF, serving with the 99 Squadron in Bomber Command, which put him on the sharp end when World War II started in September 1939. He would be among the first to fight — and face the fury of the Luftwaffe. For part two, click here

Jim Brough flew a Vickers Wellington against German targets early in the war.
Jim Brough — front row, fourth from the leftwith other officers of 99 Squadron.
Wellingtons in flight.
Jim as a Point Cook cadet in 1936.
Jim and fellow cadets. The life expectancy of those who went to the RAF
was short after the war started in 1939.
This special issue highlighted the work done by Jim and other pilots.