Legendary Australian actor Charles \'Bud\' Tingwell has been remembered as a war hero and an iconic actor at his funeral in Melbourne.
Source:
AAP
20 May 2009 - 11:28 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 11:52 AM

Legendary Australian actor Charles `Bud\' Tingwell has been remembered for being as much a war hero as an actor at his funeral in Melbourne.

His son, Dr Christopher Tingwell, said that as a young boy he was more proud of his father\'s war record than his acting career at the state funeral in St Paul\'s Cathedral.

"People asked what was it like to have a famous actor for a father," he said.

"I was prouder of him being a spitfire pilot ... that fitted the bill more of a hero.

"He was part of that extraordinary generation, the like of which we will never see again."

His fellow Royal Australian Air Force pilot and friend Alf Payne recalled Tingwell risking his life flying over Europe during the war, becoming friends with Bob Hope and practising an American accent on US pilots.

"He flew long range reconnaissance flights over Greece, the Balkans, Italy, the Adriatic," he said.

"Flying unarmed spitfires was long, lonely and dangerous, requiring skilful piloting and very accurate navigation.

"Bud flew a large number of those trips ... he completed 75 operational sorties before returning to Australia in June 1945.

"He was a far better pilot than he ever led people to believe."

More than half of his squadron died in the war but reunions were held for the survivors around Anzac Day every year, with Tingwell ringing the men without fail if he was overseas with acting commitments, Mr Payne said.