LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Hector Murdoch McDONALD

Service No: 120571
Born: Meeniyan VIC, 16 May 1902
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1942
Unit: Headquarters, North Western Area, Darwin NT
Died: Ground Operations, Java, 17 April 1946, Aged 43 Years
Buried: Jakarta War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Alexander and Marion McDonald; husband of Rosamond Janet McDonald, of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 17 April 1946, Flight Lieutenant Hector Murdoch McDonald (120571) (Administrative & Special Duties) was engaged in an investigation by the War Crimes Tribunal. He was one of a party proceeding by motor vehicle along a road near the village of Tjaningin, about 100 kms south of Jakarta, Java. The party was ambushed. Others to lose their lives were Squadron Leader Frederick George Birchall (252031) (A & SD) of RAAF Headquarters (Melbourne) and Captain Alistair Norman MacKenzie (VX74) (No. 3 Contact and Enquiry Unit, Australian Army). Indonesian sources said the atrocity had been committed by a band of marauders led by two Japanese deserters. Three Indonesian men and the two Japanese deserters were arrested and both deserters committed suicide in prison. The fate of the Indonesians is not recorded in the casualty file.

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, 163/24/243
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Eames, Jim The Searchers, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia QLD 4067, 1999 – Chapter 8: Caught in a Maelstrom