A WORLD War II veteran has labelled the theft of his Australian flag from the entrance of his property near Holbrook as a “mongrel act”.
Oliver Killalea, 89, said the theft was even more disrespectful given it was taken from the flagpole on the eve of Australia Day.
“It was completely unnecessary to take it and a real mongrel act,” he said.
The great-grandfather was celebrating his upcoming 90th birthday on February 8 with 32 family members at the weekend when one of them noticed the flag was missing.
Mr Killalea enlisted at 18 and saw jungle warfare with the 47th Infantry Battalion in New Guinea and Bougainville in 1943 to 45.
After the war, he spent a year in the occupation force in Japan, once camping out in devastated Hiroshima.
“The flag was something I honoured and hung with pride,” he said.
“It means a lot to me and I would like to see it returned.
“I am a proud Australian who served my country during World War II.
“I have proudly hung the flag since 2001 when the Centenary of Federation was celebrated.”
Mr Killalea lives at Wantagong, about 19 kilometres from Holbrook, and his flagpole is beside his driveway.
Mr Killalea believes the flag was stolen some time before midday on Saturday.
Daughter-in-law Marg Killalea said family members arriving soon after midday saw the flag missing.
She had a few words for the culprit.
“You might regard yourself as an Aussie, but your gutless action was most un-Australian,” she said.
“Neighbours up the road even sent us a text message later that day asking where Ollie’s flag had gone.”
Anyone with information about the missing flag can phone Holbrook police on (02) 6036 2424.