PEDROTTA George Louis 80149

LEST WE FORGET

Leading Aircraftman George Louis PEDROTTA

Service No: 80149
Born: Mount Magnet WA, 5 October 1910
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 April 1942
Unit: No. 14 Squadron, RAAF Station Pearce WA
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 14 Squadron Beaufort aircraft A9-173) Yetna near Geraldton WA, 15 March 1943, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Geraldton War Cemetery WA
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Louis George and Annie Pedrotta; husband of Winifred Hilda Pedrotta, of Bellevue
Roll of Honour: Geraldton WA
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

A9-173 captained by Sergeant WAITE D.A. departed GERALDTON on an operational travel flight to CARNARVON, at 0557 hours in conditions of overcast sky with a cloud base of 2,000 feet and crashed into the crest of a hill some 600 feet above and approximately 16 miles away from the aerodrome of takeoff, GERALDTON. All eight occupants were killed. On impact the fuel tanks exploded and the nature of the crash was such that only a small percentage of the airframe, engines, ancillaries were salvageable. Court of Inquiry was convened by Air Officer Commanding WESTERN AREA, and the accident was also investigated by Air Accident Investigation Committee. Results of proceedings not yet issued.

No. 14 Squadron A50 (Operations Record Book) Entry dated 15 March 1943

At 0615 hours Beaufort A9-173 (14 Squadron) crashed two miles east of YETNA. The occupants
Pilot Officer Bishop (417040), Aircraftman Class 1 Carter (80814), Leading Aircraftman Kilpatrick (29130), Sergeant Patching (7030), Leading Aircraftman Pedrotta (80149), Sergeant Redman (416032), Sergeant Waite (411973) and Sergeant Watling (17174) were all killed and the aircraft destroyed.

No. 4 Service Flying Training School Operations Record Book A50 Entry dated 15 March 1943

It is common for fog to form some mornings when conditions are right in the area at this time of the year. The aircraft departed early morning for Carnarvon the sky was completely overcast. It would appear the aircraft was unable to climb above the fog and the pilot decided to return to Base. The aircraft was heading south west when it struck the hill.

Extract form Brenkley, D.J. (Doug J.) RAAF Historical Record of No. 4 Service Flying Training School Geraldton WA, D.J. Brenkley, 2007 – page 258

The crew members of A9-173 were:

Pilot Officer George Bishop (417040) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Aircraftman Class 1 Godfrey Carter (80814) (Electrician)
Leading Aircraftman Herbert Spencer Kilpatrick (29130) (Fitter II Airframe)
Sergeant Charles Vincent Patching (7030) (Fitter II Airframe)
Leading Aircraftman George Louis Pedrotta (80149) (Flight Mechanic)
Sergeant Robert Ambrose Redman (416032) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Donald Ashby Waite (411973) (Pilot)
Sergeant Edward Watling (17174) (Wireless Air Gunner)

References:

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 A9846, 246

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990