Remembering the Past Australia

The Air Adventures of Biggles
"The Black Raider"

James Bigglesworth, nicknamed “Biggles”, was a fictional pilot and adventurer in W. E. Johns’ adventure books written for young readers. Although the Biggles books by Captain W. E. Johns were popular worldwide, Australia was the only country in the world to make them into a radio serial. The Air Adventures of Biggles, the radio series, was produced and broadcast in Australia between 1945 and 1954. The series was first produced in Adelaide by AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Ltd). In 1949, production was moved to Sydney from the 209th episode onwards and ran on for a total of 1,256 episodes. Each episode would run for about 15 minutes and about 30-40 episodes would be needed to narrate one complete story.

The Air Adventures of Biggles – The Black Raider” was based on the book “Biggles and the Black Raider“, originally published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1953 which was set in the early 1950s in East Africa.

Synopsis: A wave of terror is spreading across Africa. A gang of bandits led by someone who calls himself “The Black Elephant” is attacking farmsteads, murdering the farmers and pillaging them off their cattle. Biggles and the Air Police are called in to help. But the gang is well-organised and ranges over a vast area of more than half a million square miles across most of the eastern side of Africa. To bring the gang to justice will take the entire staff of the Air Police, three aircraft, numerous allies on the ground, and some good luck. [Biggles Wiki]


W. E. Johns


J. Colin Craigen

Production Company:

Amalgamated Wireless (Aust.)


Michael Noonan, Brian Wright and Harry Howlett


Rex Waldron (Biggles), James Mills (Biggles), Moray Powell (Biggles), Walter Sullivan (Bertie), Diana Perryman (Pat Kendall), Max Osbiston (Algy), Leonard Bullen (Ginger)

Broadcast details:

The Air Adventures of Biggles was produced and broadcast in Australia between 1945 and 1954


Biggles appeared briefly on 2CH in 1945 and on 2KO Newcastle in 1946 with scripts by Maurice Chapman.

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The Air Adventures of Biggles
"The Black Raider"

Australian radio dramatisation of The Air Adventures of Biggles – The Black Raider based on W. E John’s 1953 adventure book “Biggles and the Black Raider”, in 24 episodes. Total Running Time: 4 hours and 45 minutes.

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