McCOUAT John Battison 411924

LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer John Battison McCOUAT

Service No: 411924
Born: Marrickville NSW, 22 October 1910
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1941
Unit: No. 22 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 22 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NE478), Sri Lanka, 1 November 1944, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Colombo (Liveramentu) Cemetery, Sri Lanka
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Battison McCouat and Jessie McCouat; husband of Leila Ferguson McCouat, of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Roll of Honour: Canberra ACT
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1530 hours on 1 November 1944 Beaufighter NE478 took off from RAF Station Vavuniya, Ceylon on a non-operational transit flight to RAF Station Ratmalana. The aircraft swung on take-off and collided with a Spitfire in a dispersal bay and a Wireless Telegraph Trailer in which there were two RAF airmen from No. 17 Squadron RAF working.

The crew members of NE478 were:

Pilot Officer Victor Geoffrey Boyd-Gerney (408958) (Pilot) Severe burns, Discharged from the RAAF: 3 January 1946
Warrant Officer John Battison McCouat (411924) (Navigator B/W)
Major W T Strever DFC (94109) (SAAF) (Supernumerary) Severe burns

In the Wireless Telegraph Trailer were:

Corporal Edwards (Wireless Mechanic) Severe burns
Leading Aircraftman John Edward Riley (1037091) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator) Killed

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/530