LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant John ATHERTON

Service No: 2708
Born: Daisy Hill, England, 4 January 1909
Enlisted in the RAAF: 8 March 1937 (at RAAF Station Richmond NSW)
Unit: Headquarters North Eastern Area, Townsville QLD
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 36 Squadron Dakota aircraft A30-16), Archerfield QLD, 27 March 1943, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Brisbane (Lutwyche) Cemetery, QLD
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Ellen Atherton; husband of Joyce Irene Atherton, of Speers Point, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Soon after takeoff from Archerfield at about 0510 hours on 27 March 1943, No. 36 Squadron Dakota aircraft A30-16 crashed into heavily timbered country and burned. All on board were killed.

On board A30-16 were:

Crew

Flying Officer Alexander Kenn Arnold (400454) (Pilot)
Sergeant Joseph Hammond (414233) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Lyle Carter Morgan (413001) (Navigator)
Leading Aircraftman Samuel Ivan Wiles (629) (Fitter IIE)

Passengers

Sergeant John Atherton (2708) HQ North East Area
Leading Aircraftman Thomas William Beckley (52714) No. 20 Signals Unit
Pilot Officer David Andrew Blackley (39009) No. 20 Signals Unit
Leading Aircraftman John Edward Chinner (47736) No. 3 Fighter Sector
Sergeant Robert William Tylden Chisholm (408563) No. 1 Reserve Personnel Pool
Leading Aircraftman Kevin Francis Flanagan (68855) No. 9 Mobile Fighter Sector
Leading Aircraftman Charles Paton Eric Fly (52396) No. 12 Signals Unit
Corporal Violet May Gunning (93345) Brisbane Wireless Telegraph Station
Major Eugene H Halliwell (O-393127) (US Army)
Corporal Ruth Ada Hills (92533) Brisbane Wireless Telegraph Station
Aircraftwoman Florence May Jackson (106735) Brisbane Wireless Telegraph Station
Sergeant Max Irvernia Thomas Jarvis (9268), No. 28 Radar Station
Leading Aircraftman Terence Joseph Kelly (52398) No. 12 Signals Unit
Leading Aircraftman Kenneth Owen Paton (31806) No. 11 Squadron
First Lieutenant Francis M Skinner (O-430024) (US Army)
Lieutenant Irwin Leo Smith (Q194602) (Australian Army) HQ 2 L of C Sub Area
Pilot Officer Alfred Tatlock (70555) No. 20 Signals Unit
Leading Aircraftman Geoffrey Frederick Waters (65202) No. 1 Transport and Movements Office
Corporal Thomas Keith McDowall Watt (42766) No. 28 Radar Station

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 119