Wing Commander Joshua Roger Gray McDONALD

Commanding Officer, No. 13 Squadron

Service No: 86
Born: Caulfield VIC, 24 May 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 January 1935
Unit: No. 13 Squadron, Laha
Died: Air Operations: Price of Hesitation (No. 13 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-69), Netherlands East Indies, 10 December 1941, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Thomas McDonald and Elsie Moors McDonald, of Brighton Beach, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 7, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Orders for the first air strike by an Australian squadron in the Netherlands East Indies against an enemy land target were given on 10th December to No. 13 Squadron’s two flights based at Laha—a bombing raid on Tobi Island, the westernmost point in the Japanese mandated area, about 170 miles east of Morotai Island in the Halmaheras. Photographic reconnaissance had indicated that the Japanese were developing the island as a submarine base and there was the added probability that the enemy might use it as a base for air attacks against Allied shipping. At 5.45 a.m. the six Hudsons took off. Almost immediately the leading aircraft, piloted by the squadron commander, Wing Commander McDonald, crashed into the sea. There were no survivors.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 242

The crew members of A16-69 were:

Sergeant Wallace Roy Foreman (400173) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Wing Commander Joshua Roger Gray McDonald (86) (Pilot)
Sergeant Walter John Nagel (406460) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Ralph Henry Pope (829) (Second Pilot)


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, 135


Grantham, S.R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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