Sergeant Ernest Newton COOK

Service No: 46603
Born: Waverley NSW, 7 June 1907
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 February 1942
Unit: No. 73 Operational Base Unit, Corunna Downs WA
Died: Vehicle Accident, near Marble Bar WA, 5 December 1944, Aged 37 Years
Buried: Geraldton War Cemetery WA (Reinterred)
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward Newton Cook and Clarissa Amy Cook; husband of Gertrude Mary Cook, of Nedlands.
Roll of Honour: Nedlands WA
Remembered: Panel 113, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

At 2040 hours, whilst engaged in fuel loading operations in MARBLE BAR, No. 46603 Sergeant COOK, Ernest Newton, operator of the Mobile Cinema Unit was accidentally killed.  The accident was attributed to the deceased apparently overbalancing and falling off the back of a moving motor vehicle.  There were no witness of the occurrence and the body of Sergeant COOK was discovered by personnel travelling in a civilian vehicle proceeding in the opposite direction to which the deceased had been travelling.  First aid was immediately applied and Sergeant COOK removed to the MARBLE BAR Hospital, but on arrival was found to be dead.  The Matron notified No. 4 Medical Receiving Station who in turn notified the Commanding Officer of 73 O.B.U.  Action was taken in accordance with existing A.F.O’s. (Air Force Orders)

No. 73 Operational Base Unit Operations Record Book Entry dated 5 December 1944

The Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader F. JOLLY (285502), Flight Lieutenant J.B. FLEMING M.B.M.S. (263942) and a medical orderly departed by road to MARBLE BAR.  The last two mentioned conducted a post mortem of the late Sergeant COOK, the cause of death being ascertained as a fracture at the base of the skull.  The funeral was carried out at 1700 hours and the body interred in the MARBLE BAR War Cemetery.  The Commanding Officer and all officers and sergeants who could be spared attended the funeral, and six airmen acted as pall bearers.  Captain C. STINSON A.I.F., Roman Catholic Chaplain, who was passing through at the time, performed the burial service.

No. 73 Operational Base Unit Operations Record Book Entry dated 6 December 1944

Sergeant Cook did a wonderful job of relieving the men’s boredom.  He had come to us after a tour of duty in New Guinea in the thick of enemy territory, and was due to go home on leave shortly after me.  I eventually went and on my return was shocked beyond belief to learn that Cookie was going to Marble Bar in the truck which hit a bad bump; Cookie went over the side, landed on his head and was killed.

Extract from Cafarella, A. (Antonio) Corunna Downs: The Invisible WW2 Airfield, A. Cafarella, Hawker SA, 1998 – page 37


Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-line Record A9301, 46603

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