S/Ldr LESLIE DOUGLAS JACKSON DFC & BAR (270520) 7 & 1sh/0/4

Les Jackson was born in Brisbane, Queensland, 24 February 1917. He was working as a clerk before joining  the militia with the light horse, 2 days after his 18th birthday. He later worked as a garage proprieter before enlisting in the RAAF on 6 November 1939. After his training he was posted to 12, 23 and 21 Squadrons before joining 75 Squadron on its formation. Here he became a flight leader under the leadership of his elder brother, and Middle East veteran, John. In March 1942, the squadron was deployed to defend Port Moresby. At the time having the unenviable distinction of being the only allied fighter squadron in the South West Pacific theatre. Jackson was to claim several victories during the 44 day defense by 75 Squadron but tragically on the 28th April, his brother was shot down and killed. Les then replaced John as CO. 

Decimated after the defense of Moresby, the squadron returned to Australia to rest and reform, before being deployed to Milne Bay, New Guinea, in July. He claimed another victory during the Battle of Milne Bay, however when the airfields came under threat from the advancing Japanese on 28 August, the squadron was withdrawn to Port Moresby. The Squadron returned the next day but an engine failure forced Jackson to crash land at Paramana Point on route. With the help of local natives he returned to Moresby 3 days later using a variety of available watercraft.

In mid August 1943, Jackson and F/Lt Clive Wawn, flew evaluation flights and mock dogfights, between a Spitfire MkV and a rebuilt Zeke 32, over Eagle Farm, Brisbane. The Zeke, constructed from five separate wrecks, was found to be superior below 20,000 feet, and that the Spitfire needed to keep its airspeed above 250mph (400kph) to gain an advantage over the Zero.

Throughout 1943 he led 78 Wing until the end of 1944, before becoming Chief Flying Instructor at 8OTU, Parkes. Jackson finished the war as CO of Air Defence Headquarters at Madang. He was awarded a DFC for "Courage & leadership at Milne Bay & Fall River", and a bar to the DFC for "Courage, skill and ability as leader Hansa Bay & Garove Is.". Jackson was discharged from service on 8 February 1946.

NB: Les Jackson's bomber claims below appear in 75 Squadron's scoreboard document found in the Australian Archives and nowhere else.  Generally his confirmed total is usually listed as 5 fighters destroyed. The high list of potential claims found here may have arisen from 75 Squadron's Intelligence Officer Stewart Collie's re-evaluation, and modification of claims, upon his arrival with the squadron.

See Also:

Newspapers   Newspapers II

Combat Claims:

1     42.03.24 75 P-40 Zero Pt.Moresby    
1.5   2D 42.03/04 75 P-40 Bomber Unknown    
1     42.04.05 75 P-40 Zero Pt.Moresby A29-9 N
    2D 42.04.06 75 P-40 Zero Pt.Moresby A29-9 N
1     42.04.17 75 P-40 Zero Pt.Moresby A29-29 I
1     42.04.18 75 P-40 Zero Pt.Moresby A29-30
1     42.08.27 75 P-40 Zero Milne Bay A29-71  
1     42.04.24 75 P-40 Fighter Pt.Moresby A29-41 M


 (Information updated 26 Feb 2013)








Dean Kelly was born in Glenelg, South Australia, on 8 February 1917. He worked as a clerk, and from late 1938 was enlisted in the militia. He rose to the rank of Sgt with the 51st Field Battery, before he was discharged to allow him to join the RAAF. He enlisted on 29 March 1941, and attended 1 ITS, Somers, before joining 7 EFTS, Western Junction, Tasmania, on 24 May. His next station was 7 SFTS, Deniliquin, posted on 28 July, where he obtained his flying badge on 19 September. He was then posted to 25 Squadron, at Pearce, as a P/O on 24 December.

On 16 March 1942 he joined 77 Squadron, at Pearce, following them through to their deployment to Darwin. He was promoted to F/O by mid May, and then embarked with the squadron to New Guinea on 1 February 1943. While flying from Milne Bay, Kelly was returning to Gurney Field from an interception patrol between Cape Dulcie, and Cape Frete, on 7 March. Flying Kittyhawk A29-182, he suffered hydraulic failure in flight. Lowering his landing gear manually, he was forced to land at 120 mph, with no flaps and an unlocked tail wheel. His brakes were effective for the first 500 yards but then failed completely, causing him to nose over in soft mud at the end of the strip. Kelly was uninjured. On 14 April, 77 and 75 Squadron intercepted an incoming raid of 100 plus Japanese aircraft. In the ensuing engagement, Kelly claimed one bomber destroyed, and one probable.

On 15 October he returned to Australia to serve as a flying instructor, first at 2 OTU, Mildura, then at 8 OTU, Parkes, by which time he had been promoted to F/Lt. He then returned to 2 OTU on 2 December 1944. He attended the RAAF Staff School before commencing a second operational tour, this time with 80 Squadron, joining them at Moratai on 6 June 1945. Shortly after the end of hostilities he was appointed as Acting Squadron Leader, having flown over 1200 hours, with 544 hours on P-40s, and had completed 117 operational sorties. On returning to Australia he reverted back to his previous rank of F/Lt, and was posted to 6 SFTS, Mallala, and was again at 2 OTU when he was discharged on 3 July 1946. He was awarded a DFC, gazetted on 25 June, 1946, with the following citation.



 NAA: A9300, KELLY D H

 See Also:

 Service Record  (Digitised by PVR)


 Combat Claims:

1 1P   43.04.14 77 P-40 Bomber Milne Bay A29-182 AM-C



 (Information updated 12 Oct 2013)







Born in Brisbane on 15 June 1916, Kingwell was a regular officer of the air force at the outbreak of the war, after enlisting on 15 July 1936.Commanded 23 Squadron during 1941-1942. Commanded 32 Squadron early in the New Guinea campaign flying Hudsons. He scored a direct hit on a  transport during the Japanese landings at Lae and Salamaua, leaving it listing and burning. During a reconnaissance of Salamaua on 31 March 1942 he was engaged by 3 Zeros. During the resulting combat he scored a probable, and his gunner scored 1 destroyed and one probable. Although receiving glass splinters in his eyes during the attack, Kingwell landed safely. Two of his crew were also wounded. Kingwell went on to command 74 and 82 Wings during the war and retired from service in 1971.

See Also:


Combat Claims:

  1P   42.03.31 32 Hudson Zero Salamaua  

(Information updated 24 Feb 2013)








Born 13th November 1920 in Sydney. Joined RAAF on September 4 1939 and was a flight commander of 21 Squadron in Malaya when hostilities broke out. Later went on to command 75 Squadron, also serving with 76,77,86 and as Wing Leader of 78 Wing. After the war he went on to command 77 Squadron in Korea, flying Meteors. Being awarded a DSO and a U.S Air medal in the process. He retired from service in 1970 as a Wing Commander.

Combat Claims:

1   1D 42.01.15 21/453 Buffalo Sally Singapore W8157  
1     42.01.19 21/453 Buffalo Ki51 Malacca    
1     42.01.19 21/453 Buffalo Zero Batu pahat W8157  
    1D 42.01.29 453 Buffalo  G3M Singapore     
    1D 42.02.01 453 Buffalo  Ki43 Singapore     
    1D 42.02.04 453 Buffalo Ki43 Sembawang    





 S/Ldr IAN ROBERT KINROSS MiD (250731) 0/1/0 


Born in Caufield , Victoria on 2 April 1921. Worked as a storeman before enlisting in the militia on 11 April 1939. Worked as a clerk before being discharged for enlistment in the air force at Parafield , South Australia on 5 February 1940. Posted to 77 Squadron where over Milne Bay he claimed a bomber probably destroyed in 77 Squadrons most successful action. The squadron claiming 5 aircraft destroyed, 5 probables and 5 damaged. During late 1943 he was part of a squadron detachment of 8 aircraft posted to Nadzab to protect 4 Squadron, who were supporting the 7th Divisions drive up the Markham Valley. As an aside to to this largely uneventfull posting. Kinross led an intercepton over Karkar Island after recieving a report that an aircraft carrying a Japanese general would be travelling between Wewak, and Rabaul on 6 October. However no aircraft were encounted. Kinross was later posted to 1 Squadron where he was discharged as a Squadron Leader on 20 November 1945.

See Also:


Combat Claims:

  1P   43.04.14 77 P-40 Bomber Milne Bay A29-195


 ( Information updated 12 Feb 2013)








Regular air force officer born in Kalamunda, WA on 27 September 1920. Posted to 21 Squadron in Malaya where he flew with A Flight. Was attached to 474 Squadron for a while during this time to help with pilot training. After the fall of Singapore returned to Australia and served with 21, 25, and 77 Squadrons. Posted as a controller with 1 Wing during its defence of Darwin. Later commanded 110 MFS in 1944. Was serving with the Air Armament and Gas School when discharged on 28 May 1946.

See Also:

Service Record

Combat Claims:

1     42.01.19 21/453 Buffalo Ki51 Malacca  
  1P   42.01.19 21/453 Buffalo Zero Batu Pahat  








Sid Laundy was born on 16 October 1920, and was a native of County Essex/England. He enlisted in the RAFVR on 14 March 1941. After completion of his training he was posted to 54 Squadron RAF in Northern Australia as a Sgt on 20 May 1943. Exactly one month later he made his first claim, destroying a Zeke West of Darwin. Ten days later, on 30 June, he was involved in heavy action over the Anson Bay area. He destroyed one Betty, probably destroyed another, and damaged a third, before his Spitfire was hit, causing it to smoke badly at first, before starting to burn. He was forced to bail out at 1250ft, however in doing so struck the tail, dislocating his shoulder and fracturing his arm. He was found in the bush 8 miles North West of Adelaide River. After recovery in hospital he was returned to 54 Squadron, and was promoted to W/O by 1944. On 1 November 1944, while flying Spitfire A58-302, he experienced a loss of power at 3200ft. Despite his best efforts he failed to regain power, and attempted a forced landing on a beach. Unable to make it, he belly landed in the water 200ft from Darwin's main jetty. Laundy was slightly injured in the landing. He was commissioned on 11 April 1945, and was promoted to F/O on 27 July.

 See Also:

 Casualty Report 

 Newspapers   Newspapers II

 Combat Claims:


1     43.06.20 54RAF Spitfire Zeke Darwin EE605  
1 1P 1D 43.06.30 54RAF Spitfire Betty Batchelor BR490  

 (Information updated 16 Feb 2013)






 F/Lt BRUCE LITTLE (403521) 0/1/1


Bruce Little was born in North Sydney on 24 January 1921. He worked as a clerk before enlisting in the RAAF on 1 February 1941. He commenced his training at 2 ITS, Bradfield Park, and on 3 April moved to 8 EFTS, Narrandera. On 13 June he embarked from Sydney on route to Canada, arriving at 2 SFTS, Uplands (Ontario) on 3 July. He then embarked for the U.K, arriving on 19 October, and trained with 9 SFTS, before moving to 52 OTU, Aston Down. On completion of his training he was posted to 457 Squadron RAAF on 10 March 1942, where the squadron conducted many sweeps and Rodeos over the continent from their Redhill base.

He embarked with the squadron for Australia on 8 June, arriving in Melbourne on 13 August. The squadron then moved to Richmond, NSW, before reaching Darwin as part of 1 Wing. On 10 May 1943, while detached to Millingimbi to protect Beaufighters staging through to the north, he and four other 457 Squadron Spitfires were scrambled to intercept an incoming raid of 9 Zeke's. In the ensuing melee Little damaged a Zeke but received damage to his elevator and returned to base. Touching down and rolling along the runway he saw three Zeke's approaching. Opening everything he took off again, circled, and caught the last of the Zeke's which by now were now strafing the runway. A ten minute low level dogfight then ensued. A momentary lapse in concentration found Little rapidly approaching the ground. Unable to completely pull out, his air intake struck the ground at 160mph. His Spitfire (BS199 ZP-S) somersaulted three times and rolled, losing both wings, the prop, and tail assembly. To add insult to injury he was then strafed by the Zekes. Miraculously Little survived with only cuts, abrasions, and shock, and was able to walk the 2-3 miles back to the airfield. The Zeke he attacked was reported to have a damaged motor, and although was not seen to crash, an explosion was heard in the direction whence it departed. Little was credited with a probable.

At the end of his tour he travelled south via Sydney, and became an instructor at 2 OTU, Mildura, on 6 December. He instructed at 8 OTU, Parkes, from 12 July, 1944, before returning to 2 OTU on 30 October. In mid 1945 he travelled north again taking up a position with HQ North Eastern Area, Townsville, on 6 June. Then to HQ 1st Tactical Air Force, Morotai, on 17 September. He returned to 457 Squadron on 15 October, who by this stage were still stationed at Borneo, he was discharged from the RAAF on Christmas Eve 1945, and returned to Australia on January, 1946.



 The wreckage of Bruce Little's Spitfire after the action of 10 May 1943.


Known Promotions:   P/O  1.3.43,  F/O  1.9.43,  F/Lt  1.3.45

See Also:

Service Record

Newspapers   Newspapers II Part 1   Newspapers II Part 2

Combat Claims:

  1P 1D 43.05.10 457 Spitfire Zeke Millingimbi BS199 ZP-S








Ron MacDonald was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 14 February 1911. He was educated at Rockhampton Grammar and later at Geelong Grammar School. He worked for four years as a store man with Henderson Federal Spring Works in Melbourne, trained in the grazing industry, and spent time in the Citizen Forces and as a Senior Cadet before enlisting in the RAAF on 31 March, 1936. He was posted to the Recruit Training Squadron (R.T.S) at Richmond, NSW, on 27 July, and worked as a storekeeper. He was posted to 2 Aircraft Depot on 17 April, 1939, and then to 8 Squadron, Fairbairn, on its reformation as a transport squadron on 11 September. MacDonald was granted a commission and entered pilot training with 2 EFTS, Archerfield, on 4 March, 1940. He was then posted to 1 SFTS, Point Cook, on 1 July before transferring to 25 Squadron, Pearce, to further his flying training on CAC Wirraways.

On 7 July 1941 he was attached on temporary duty to 67 Squadron RAF in Malaya, where he gained 17 hours flying time on Brewster Buffaloes before returning to 25 Squadron on 17 August, 1941. On 26 April, 1942, he took command of 12 Squadron at Batchelor, Northern Territory, and was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader a few weeks later. In October the squadron began replacing is Wirraways with new Vultee Vengeance Dive-Bombers, being the first squadron in the SWPA to be equipped with the new aircraft. However MacDonald would not see them go into action as on 19 March, 1943, he was posted to command 452 Squadron (Spitfires) at Strauss upon the death of S/Ldr Ray Thorold-Smith.In retrospect his appointment would appear surprising considering his lack of experience in fighter operations. However he would have a good tutor in Wing Commander Caldwell and despite his shortcomings would capably lead the squadron, largely justifying his appointment. He went on to down a "Sally" bomber on 20 June and a "Betty on 6 July. This was despite suffering many mechanical, equipment, and armourment failures during his combats.



Ron MacDonald (right) with Malta ace John Bisley. (SLV H98.104/3817)

During an engagement with a Japanese escorted reconnaissance on 7 September, MacDonald was bounced by a Zero. Despite violent evasive maneuvering his Spitfire (LZ844) was hit by cannon shells, one exploding in the cockpit sending shrapnel fragments through his legs. The fuel tank under the front of his knees ignited and flames began to lick up from under the instrument panel, burning his legs. He jettisoned the canopy, opened the side door, removed his helmet, and stood up into the airstream. However in doing so the silk of his parachute began to flap about his face, due to the canvas parachute casing having been damaged and torn by gunfire. He gathered up the billowing silk, held it tightly to his chest, kicked the joystick forward and tumbled from his burning fighter. Fearing being shot in his parachute he free fell to 12000 feet before releasing the fabric from his grasp and pulling his D ring. Thankfully his chute opened and he landed safely, despite some unwanted attention from a Zero which was seemingly headed straight for him but scampered when another Spitfire intervened. MacDonald was taken back to the squadron for 'a few beers' and after this was sent to 1 MRS to treat his injuries and burns to his face, arms, and legs which were described as serious. He was sent 'down south' to convalesce and did not return to the squadron until 27 October.

New incoming Wing Commander Peter Jeffrey was unimpressed with MacDonald's lack of fighter operations knowledge, even though his performance as 452 Squadron commander had been quite good. Jeffrey recommended he not be given another command until he completed an appropriate course. MacDonald relinquished his command in early February 1944, and although completing a course at the RAAF Staff School did not command another squadron, and held a number of desk jobs until the end of the war. He was Mentioned in Dispatches and was discharged at his own request on 10 October 1945. After the war MacDonald took up farming and continued to fly, firstly with an Avro and then with a De Havilland Dragon. He passed away on 12 October 2000.



 Mentioned in Dispatches Citiation NAA: A9300, MACDONALD R S

Known Promotions:

AC1 31.3.36, LAC 1.10.39, Cpl 1.4.39, Sgt 1.9.39, P/O 26.8.40, F/O 26.2.41, (A) F/Lt 1.7.41, (T) F/Lt 1.1.42, (A) S/Ldr 14.5.42, (T) S/Ldr 1.4.43.

See Also:

Service Record


Combat Claims:


43.07.06 452 Spitfire Betty Fenton BS236

43.06.20 452 Spitfire Sally Darwin BR574






 S/Ldr IAN SEAFORTH MACKENZIE (402800) 1/2/1


Ian Mackenzie was born on 9 February 1917 in Ipswich, Queensland. He worked as a bank clerk for the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, and also served with the 6th Light Horse Militia, before his enlistment in the RAAF on 14 October 1940. He attended 2 ITS Lindfield before progressing to 5 EFTS Narromine on 12 December 1940. He embarked from Sydney for Canada on 22 February 1941, arriving at Vancouver on 16 March, where 4 days later he was sent to 1 SFTS, Camp Borden, Ontario. On 19 June he embarked for the U.K, arriving on 17 July. On the 26 July he was posted to 52 OTU, Aston Downs, where he converted to Spitfires.

Mackenzie's first operational posting was to 504 "County of Nottingham" Squadron, arriving on 15 September when the unit was converting from Hurricane Mk III's to Spitfire Mk II's. Based in Northern Ireland at Balyhalbert and Kirkistown, both west of Belfast, the squadron undertook the fighter defense of the area. By the end of his time with the squadron the unit was flying a mixed bag of Mk II, III, and V Spitfires. He was transferred to 457 Squadron RAAF (Spitfire Mk Vs) on 12 May 1942, which was then based at Red Hill, Surrey. While with the squadron he undertook six sweeps, and had one damaged claim (aircraft type & date unknown) in the single combat he was involved in.

He embarked with the squadron for Australia on 18 June, arriving in Melbourne on 13 August. The unit moved to Richmond, and then to Camden, NSW, before it arrived at the Northern Territory front line on 18 January 1943, and took up residence at Batchelor Field. Mackenzie would have a total of four combats in the theatre, claiming 1 destroyed, two probables, and a damaged. His single destroyed claim coming while flying Spitfire BS234 CR-C, the regular mount of W/C Clive Caldwell.

On 31 August 1943, when returning to Livingstone Field after formation flying practice, he made a landing approach on the field. However on touching down his Spitfire (BS178) swung violently to the right, and could only be corrected by using full rudder and engine power. Mackenzie then took off again and made another approach but on touching down his Spitfire again swung to the right. After applying the left brake the aircraft then swung violently to the left. This time he was unable to correct the swing, and the aircraft hit a soft earth bank at the end of the strip, slewed round, and struck trees with his tail unit. Mackenzie was uninjured, and the problem was later blamed on a faulty tail wheel.

On completion of his tour he took up an instructor's role at 2 OTU, Mildura, arriving on 9 January 1944. And then was O.C Boomerang flight at 8 OTU, Parkes, from 30 October. He completed a Unit Commanders Course at the RAAF Staff School and took command of 83 Squadron (Boomerangs) at Camden, NSW, from 2 January 1945. He was discharged on 27 February 1946, and is believed to have passed away in 1992.

Known Promotions:  LAC 7.12.40,  Sgt  6.6.41,  P/O  9.12.41,  F/O  9.6.42,  F/Lt  9.12.43,  A S/Ldr  2.4.45

See Also:

Service Record  

Newspapers  Part 1   Newspapers  Part 2 

Combat Claims:

  1P   43.06.28 457 Spitfire Betty Darwin    
    1D 43.06.30 457 Spitfire Betty Batchelor    
1     43.07.06 457 Spitfire Betty Fenton BS234 CR-C
  1P   43.09.07 457 Spitfire Zeke Pt. Patterson BR542 ZP-Z








Don MacLean was born on 18 December 1916, in Strathfield, New South Wales. He spent much of his early life in New Guinea, and worked as a planter at Rabaul on New Britain, a miner, and as a district patrol officer. He enlisted in the RAAF on 11 October 1940. He attended 2 ITS, Bradfield Park, before a move to 2 EFTS, Archerfield, on 12 February 1940. He was then posted to 3 SFTS Amberley, on 10 February 1941, and attained his flying badge on 29 May.

He then travelled to the UK, via Canada, where he joined 57 OTU Hawarden, and was then posted to 457 Squadron RAAF, on 23 September 1942. As a Pilot Officer he completed nearly 50 offensive sorties over the continent, and was involved in 12 aerial combats. He probably destroyed two FW190s, and damaged a further two, before he returned with 457 Squadron to Australia, on 13 May 1942.

Upon moving to the Darwin area, MacLean took command of the squadrons "A" flight. He made a quick trip "down South" during May, helping Allied intelligence services with his extensive knowledge of New Guinea, before returning to Darwin. During his combats in this theatre he claimed two shared destroyed, and had a damaged claim, finally gaining his first full destroyed claim of a Zeke, on 7 September 1943. He claimed a further two damaged claims before he was posted as an instructor, firstly to 2 OTU, Mildura, on 14 January 1944, and then to 8 OTU, Parkes, on 12 July 1944. He had a second tour, returning to 457 Squadron on 4 August as its commander, and reverted to his previous rank of Flight Leiutenant on his discharge on 6 February 1946. MacLean was Mentioned in Despatches with the following citation:




See Also:

Service Record

Newspapers    Newspapers II  Newspapers III Part 1  Newspapers III Part 2 

Combat Claims: 


0.5     43.03.07 457 Spitfire Dinah Darwin    
0.5     43.06.28 457 Spitfire Zeke Darwin    
    1D 43.06.30 457 Spitfire Betty Batchelor    
1   1D 43.09.07 457 Spitfire Zeke Pt. Patterson EF543 ZP-P
    1D 43.11.06 457 Spitfire Dinah Drysdale A58-118  





 F/Lt PETER ADDISON MASTERS (407330) 2/0/2


Pete Masters was born in Mymensingh, India, on 28 December 1920, the son of Australian missionaries. He was educated at Kings College, Adelaide, and Adelaide University, before working as a public servant with the South Australian motor vehicle department. He joined the RAAF on 14 September 1940. While training with 1SFTS on 4 March 1941, he made an approach which was too low on his first night solo flight. He ripped the undercarriage from his Hawker Demon (A1-46) after clipping a barbed wire fence, flipping the aircraft onto its back. Fortunately Masters escaped with only strains and bruising.

He began the first of his four operational tours with 4 Squadron, before joining 75 Squadron in the defence of Port Moresby. He would score all of his claims in this theatre, despite only having seven hours on P-40's upon arrival in New Guinea. He also flew with 75 Squadron during the battle of Milne Bay. He had later tours with 86 and 80 Squadrons, and was discharged on 5 April 1945, after some time with 1EFTS. After the war he held several senior positions with the Chrysler Corporation in Australia, and overseas. He worked as a manager with the South Australian Government Department of State Development before his retirement in 1985. He later became Chairman of the South Australian Duke of Edinburgh Awards. A position he held for ten years. In 1994 he was awarded an Order of Australia medal for services to the scheme.

Combat Claims:

1     42.04.11 75 P-40 Zero Lae A29-48 Y
1     42.04.17 75 P-40 Zero Lae A29-48 Y
    1D 42.04.28 75 P-40 Betty Pt.Moresby A29-48 Y
    1D 42.04.06 75 P-40 Type 97 Pt.Moresby A29-48 Y


 Pete Masters with one of several aircraft he named "Poison Pete", Cairns, July, 1942.

The artwork on this P-40 appears to be incomplete. (AWM)






F/O GRANVILLE ALLEN "Al" MAWER (403112) 3/0/1


Allen Mawer was born on 31 October 1919, in Canterbury, New South Wales. He was a clerk for the National Bank in Manly, and also served as a Sgt. with the 17th Machine Gun Battalion Militia, before he joined the RAAF on 9 December 1940. He trained at 2 ITS, Lindfield, and 8 EFTS, Narrandera before being shipped to Canada in April 1941. He completed his flying training at 11 SFTS, Yorkton, and on 23 July qualified as a pilot. He then travelled to the UK where he attended 61 OTU, Heston, before joining 245 Squadron on 27 October. In May 1942 he moved to 501 Squadron by which time he had been promoted to F/Sgt. He was commissioned as a P/O on 25 July, and saw action over Dieppe on 19 August. Having broken away from a Do 217 he had just damaged, he was attacked by an FW 190, which shattered the canopy of his Spitfire. Jettisoning the remains of his canopy, he bailed out suffering only minor head wounds.

He embarked for Australia in November, and arrived in January 1943. He attended 2 OTU, Mildura, and 7AD, before joining 54 Squadron RAF at Darwin as a Flying Officer in March. On 7 March his aircraft was hit during an engagement and he was forced to land. He claimed a Zeke destroyed on 15 March before transferring to 452 Squadron later in the month. Here he destroyed 2 Zekes and damaged another in two seperate engagements. Unfortunately on 26 September 1943 during a training flight near Manton Dam, F/O J.P Adams made a mock attack on Mawer. Closing in he pulled away to starboard. Unaware of Adams presence Mawer similtaniously made a hard turn to starboard. The port wings of the two Sptfires collided and both broke off. The two aircraft spun in and burst into flames, killing them both. Allen Mawer is buried at the Adelaide River War Cemetery in the Northern Territory.

See Also:

Service Record

RAAF Casualty Database

Combat Claims:


1     43.03.15 54RAF Spitfire Zeke Darwin BS305 DL-J
1   1D 43.05.02 452 Spitfire Zeke Darwin BR236 QY-N
1     43.06.20 452 Spitfire Zeke Darwin BR548 QY-M





 W/C WILLIAM JOHN "JACK" MEEHAN (270368) 0/0/1


Jack Meehan was born on 22 August, 1910, in Guyra, New South Wales. He was living in Annerley, Queensland, and working as a commercial pilot at the time of his enlistment on 6 November 1939. And already had over 300 hours flying time, specialising in aerial photography. He was promoted to Pilot Officer immediately and posted to 1 FTS, Laverton. Promotion was steady, becoming a Flying Officer after a move to 3 FTS, Essendon, on 17 December, 1939, and made Flight Lieutenant on 1 November, 1940. By 2 June, 1941, he was a flying instructor at the Central Flying School, Point Cook, and promoted to Squadron Leader on 1 April, 1942. There followed a posting to the newly formed 76 Squadron, Townsville, on 24 April, 1942. He was part of an advance party sent to New Guinea, before the squadron was deployed in full to Milne Bay. Here he was a flight leader during the Battle of Milne Bay, carrying out strafing attacks on troops and shipping. Upon the death of S/Ldr Peter Turnbull, Meehan found himself the squadron's highest ranking officer. However he was overlooked for command due to his lack of combat experience. Command of the squadron went instead to S/Ldr Keith 'Bluey' Truscott.


Meehans sharkmouth P-40E he flew while at Milne Bay. A former USAAF 49FG aircraft flown in the defense of Darwin. (Peter Malone) 

He was briefly appointed as a controller with Fighter Sector Headquarters on 18 September, and then commanded 9 Fighter Sector HQ from 12 October. Meehan then commanded 75 Squadron from 14 December 1942, and later commanded 83 Squadron during its establishment from 26 February 1943. On 22 March he also took command of 86 Squadron during its establishment, and led them during its deployment to Merauke, DNG. He damaged a 'Hap' during an action on 9 September, and was promoted to Wing Commander on 1 December. In January 1944 he completed his tour having flown 74 sorties and 142 operational hours between 20 July 1942, and 4 December 1943.

Meehan was then posted to 5 FTS, Naromine, as an instructor on 24 January 1944. However it would appear that his nerve held up better to combat than it did flying with trainee pilots. His commanding officer stated in a report "he could not get into an aircraft with someone else flying".  His appointment was terminated at his own request on 2 November 1944. After the war Meehan started up Geelong Airways, and was the president of the Geelong Aero Club when it reformed in 1946. Tragically on 26 August 1947, Meehan took delivery of a Percival Q6 from Mascot, Sydney. On the flight from Sydney to Geelong the aircraft was posted as missing. Despite a large search, including some of the last intensive sorties by RAAF Liberators, the plane was not discovered until over a year later, when the wreckage was discovered at Wee Jasper, near Canberra. Meehan's remains and those of his passenger were discovered at the scene.

Meehan was discharged from the RAAF on 2 November 1944, and struck from reserve 27 February 1948.

See Also:

Service Record 

Newspapers   Newspapers II   Newspaper III

Combat Claims:

    1D 43.09.09 86 P-40 Hap Merauke A29-301 MP-A




   The Perciaval Q6 Petral (AH-ABY) in which Jack Meehan and his passenger were killed on 26 August 1947.

(Information updated 30 Aug 2105)