So far about 335 men associated with the Illawarra have been identified as perishing in the WW2 years – from 1939 and extending out to 1948. Another 10 from elsewhere perished in incidents at Bass Point , Jamberoo and Kiama – a number of these nine are buried in the Illawarra.
These names were drawn from an Illawarra Mercury article of November 2010, physical inspection of a number of Illawarra War Memorials, online War Memorial records, Illawarra Family History Group listing of War Memorials in the Illawarra; and searching of Illawarra newspapers via the National Library of Australia’s Trove on-line system.
- 23.11.1939 – Robert John Ohlemeyer – No.3 Squadron , RAAF – Nominal Roll entry – WW2 Service Record He was not of the Illawarra, but died in a plane crash near Jamberoo – RAAF Accident Investigation Report – page 29 of 41 – cause(s) unknown. This was the first of a number of fatal military accidents in the Illawarra in the WW2 years. AWM Roll of Honour – 1, 2,. He is buried at the Clare and District Cemetery, Clare, South Australia. CWGC – FindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project – showing his grave.
- 9.4.1940 – Victor Theodore Smith of Wombarra – Illawarra Mercury 10.4.2015 – SMITH_VICTOR_THEODORE CWGC certificate – Black Diamond Heritage Centre Victor Theodore Smith – 75th Anniversary – Victor Theodore Smith – L Smith – served in the 2/34th Battalion under the compulsory military training scheme announced in November 1939 – Wikipedia – In 1921, during a re-organisation of Australia’s part-time military forces – the Citizen Forces – designed to perpetuate the units of the AIF, the battalion was re-raised as an infantry battalion in New South Wales. In doing so, the battalion drew personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, which drew its lineage from the 37th Infantry Regiment. In 1927, when territorial designations were introduced, the battalion adopted the title of the “Illawarra Regiment” and the motto Malo Mori Quam Foedari. During World War II, due to the provisions of the Defence Act, which precluded Militia units from being sent outside Australian territory to fight, the (2/34th) battalion remained in Australia where it undertook defensive duties variously assigned to the 14th and 28th Brigades.
- 29.7.1940 – Derrel (Darrel) George Collins , Wollongong – 2988 – No.11 Squadron RAAF – accident in the Solomons – Accident Investigation Report (not yet digitised) – commemorated at Bomana Military Cemetery Port Moresby – CWGC – FindaGrave. Note – while we may think of the war in Papua New Guinea not really getting underway until 1942, 11 Squadron was in fact moved up to Port Moresby at the outbreak of WW2 and it was presumably during one of the patrol flights that Derrel Collins was killed … At the outbreak of the Second World War 11 Squadron moved to Port Moresby, having been formed as a general reconnaissance squadron at Richmond in New South Wales on 21 September 1939. The squadron’s small flight of Seagull and Empire flying boats immediately began patrolling the Thursday Island, Tulagi, New Zealand, and Bougainville. In 1941 the unit began flying Catalina aircraft, with one detached to join the search for HMAS Sydney and any survivors. Squadron aircraft continued to carry out bombing attacks against Japanese shipping at Rabaul and other targets on Japanese-occupied islands. With Japanese naval and air attacks on Port Moresby escalating, the squadron withdrew to Bowen in Queensland on 7 May 1942.
- 30.8.1940 – Frederick Stanley Nicholls, Austinmer – NX28685 – 2/4th Field Ambulance AAMC – news media stories – transport misadventure in NSW – CWGC – FindaGrave – buried Field of Mars Cemetery in North Ryde
- 13.10.1940 – Eric George Webber, Wollongong – NX10077 – AASC – media story – illness in England – CWGC – FindaGrave – buried Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey England
- 27.12.1940 – Ivor Henry Meggitt DFC, Austinmer – 40633 – A Sunderland of No. 210 Squadron while on Patrol – RAF – was a Temporary Squadron Leader – killed in a flying accident in Scotland, and only one of the crew survived – is on Commemorative Roll (not AWM Roll of Honour) – buried Oban (Pennyfuir) Cemetery, Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom – FindaGrave – Scottish War Grave Project – media stories & resources – 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 , 11, 12, 11 .
- “His plane crashed in a night landing, at 21:17 hrs, off Maiden Island, Oban Bay. The Sunderland landed safely but hit an underwater object which ripped open the hull and flipped the aircraft onto its back. The underwater object was thought to be a horse box from the SS Breda, sunk in Ardmucknish Bay on 23/12/40.”
- “In 1937 he was selected in the first batch of twelve applicants from the whole of Australia for training m England with the Royal Air Force. He commenced his training at Ayr, in Scotjand, early in 1938, and mads his first solo flight after seven hours’ dual instruction in the air.He continued his studies in all types of aircraft and was stationed in iurn at Tern Hill, Eastchurch, Calsho’, Pembroke Dock, and finally at Oban, in Scotland. He became Pilot Officer in 1939, following in due course with promotions to Flying Officer and Acting Flight Lieutenant. Shortly before the war commenced he was drafted to the Sunderland Fly ing Boat Service of the Coastal Command. He attained the captaincy cf one of these squadrons before he was transferred to the Bombers’ Squadrons. Later, just prior to his death, he was also associated with the fighter squadrons which won world’s fame during the height of the German Blitz”.
1941 – click here for full list of 39 men identified so far
1942 – click here for full list of 96 men identified so far
1943 – click here for full list of 89 men identified so far – which includes 9 servicemen from elsewhere (Army & RAAF ) who died due to incidents in the Illawarra – Kiama and Bass Point
1944 – click here for full list of 41 men identified so far
1945 – click here for full list of 57 men identified so far – with the last to die before Victory in the Pacific over the Japanese being Albert Sidney Dwyer on 7.8.1945 on the Burma Railway. And of course, despite the controversies of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, we can only wonder how many more would have died if Victory in the Pacific over the Japanese had not been achieved. Note – the list includes 4 who died after the cessation of WW2.
- 4.1.1946 – Alfred Archibald Williscroft
- 22.1.1946 – John Benson McKinnon
- 4.3.1946 – James George Alderton
- 4.5.1946 – John Samuel Bradbury
- 29.7.1946 – Albert George Crane
- 10.8.1946 – Rea Douglas Adam Porter
- 11.9.1946 – William Henry Robert Nickel
- 24.9.1946 – Frederick Urch
- 25.2.1947 – George Courtney
- 10.3.1947 – Walter Henry Moss
- 30.4.1947 – John Charles Maclachlan
- 16.6.1947 – Leonard Eastwood
- 28.9.1947 – William Joseph Bone
- 4.11.1947 – Roy Aloysius Cole
- 6.11.1947 – Wallace Alexander
- 30.11.1947 – Charles William Hogg
- Harvey Ennis Gale OBE – Wollongong Wollongong – NX201 – AIF – Service Record. Died in a shooting accident in Japan. Camp Commandant of New Guinea Force, Port Moresby Headquarters in WW2. As Camp Commandant Japan, greeting Australian Servicemen’s Families arriving in Japan in the post war occupation in 1947 – Film, Military in Japan in 1948 Film – A Mason – FindaGrave– Media Stories – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Former Wollongong Council Health Inspector – the man who gave Wollongong its nearly lost North Beach Bathers Pavilion & Kiosk, as well as the now sadly lost Wollongong Rest Park – also the CWA Rooms – Carol Herben IHS From AWM Collection – by William Dargie – Portrait of Major Harvey Ennis Gale, MBE, Camp Commandant, Headquarters, New Guinea Force. This was a portrait demonstration at the Officers’ Mess
Can you assist with information on the following men who died in WW2 :
- W Cook – AIF – listed on Stanwell Park SLSC War Memorial Roll
- N Lyons – listed on Wollongong High School War Memorial Roll
- C Miller – listed on Wollongong Cenotaph
- R H Power – AIF – listed on Lysaghts Works War Memorial Roll
- R Saunders – Helensburgh Workers Club War Memorial Roll
- R Sutton – listed on Wollongong High School War Memorial Roll
- C Ward – listed on Wollongong High School War Memorial Roll
Note – if you are aware of any others missing from this list – or have photos or information on any of these men – please email to bdhcbulli @gmail.com
Lest We Forget