Squadron Leader William Allan PEDRINA DFC

Service No: 264
Born: Hamilton VIC, 20 May 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 January 1938 (at RAAF Station Point Cook VIC)
Unit: No. 1 Operational Training Unit
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 10 April 1942 (Citation Title: No. 32 Squadron)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 1 Operational Training Unit Hudson aircraft A16-36), 15 December 1942, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Daniel and Maude Pedrina; husband of Ethel Pedrina, of Hamilton, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: Hamilton VIC
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation (while serving with No. 32 Squadron): “Since the outbreak of hostilities with Japan, Flight Lieutenant Pedrina as captain of a Hudson aircraft has been consistently engaged on reconnaissance duties over enemy occupied territory. The skill displayed by him as a pilot, his courage in the face of stem opposition and his remarkable determination have resulted in clear distinct and valuable photographs being obtained under most difficult and trying conditions. On 11 February 1942, Flight Lieutenant Pedrina took part in a daylight raid on enemy destroyers and transports in the occupied port of Gasmata, New Britain. In the course of a low level mast height attack upon enemy shipping, the formation of three aircraft of which that flown by Flight Lieutenant
Pedrina was one, was subject to an intensive air attack by six enemy fighters. Flight Lieutenant Pedrina continued coolly and determinedly with his attack. This attack was continued with considerable success and upon his return to base he furnished a full and complete report on enemy dispositions and results of the raid. On 19February 1942, Flight Lieutenant Pedrina was ordered to carry out a daylight reconnaissance of shipping in the enemy occupied port of Rabaul. In conditions of poor cloud cover, he carried out and completed a full and effective reconnaissance in the course of which his aircraft was subjected to persistent and determined attack by an enemy fighter. Despite this attack he carried on his task but his aircraft was severely damaged including damage to the flap controls and one tyre. With his tunnel gunner killed, and his aircraft in a damaged condition, he returned over 500 miles to his base and landed without further damage. Flight Lieutenant Pedrina’s courage and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy against heavy odds and his determination to complete his allotted duty despite enemy opposition, have not only proved an inspiration and example to his fellow members of the Service, but have resulted in extremely valuable information concerning enemy dispositions and shipping being obtained.”
(London gazette 10 April 1942, Page 1593)

Squadron Pedrina was the pilot of Hudson aircraft which shot down one and possibly two Japanese fighter aircraft on 11 February 1942 and in which No. 24 Squadron Hudsons A16-126 (Flying Officer Graham Ian Gibson (290657) (Pilot)) and A16-91 (Sergeant Raymond Cherrington Henry (416181) (Wireless Air Gunner)) were lost.

Squadron Leader Pedrina was the Pilot of Hudson A16-103 which was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Rabaul on 19 February 1942 and Sergeant Francis Charles Marriner (401044) was killed.

In November and December 1942, 15 Hudson aircraft from No. 1 Operational Training Unit were used as part of a Special Transport Flight engaged in supply missions to front-line Australian Forces. At 1515 hours on 15 December 1942, Hudson A16-36 (one of three Hudson on supply missions with A16-1 and A16-127) crashed 2 kms north of Jumbori, Papua, having been brought down by ground fire while dropping supplies. A16-36 had completed three sorties to and from Soputa to drop ammunition to Australian troops fighting in the area that day and was on its fourth flight, having taken off at 1425 hrs. On this supply run, the aircraft was seen banking away from Supota Strip at 100 feet after dropping supplies. It then nosed up another 100 feet and then dived into the trees near the airstrip. Australian Army personnel were soon at the wreck site.

The crew members of A16-36 were:

Flight Sergeant Leo Charles Callaghan (300400) (Wireless Air Gunner) Rescued from the wreck by Australian Commandos, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 October 1945
Sergeant Arthur Rupert Itzerott (401750) (Wireless Operator)
Flying Officer Donald Beviss Kerr (416431) (Observer)
Squadron Leader William Allan Pedrina (264) (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 A705, 163/51/183


Balfe, J.D. (John Donellan) (272371) War Without Glory: Australians in the war with Japan 1941-5, The MacMillan Company of Australia, South Melbourne 3205, 1984
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989


Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989

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