Leading Aircraftman James David PUGH

Service No: 46571
Born: Daydawn WA, 2 February 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 February 1942
Unit: No. 13 Squadron, Gove NT
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 13 Squadron Ventura aircraft A59-84), Gould Strip NT, 27 January 1945, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Adelaide River War Cemetery, NT
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas John and Mary Pugh; husband of Dorothy Mary Pugh, of Southern Cross, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Southern Cross WA
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

The withdrawal of No. 1 Squadron to re-equip with Mosquito aircraft threw a large burden on No. 13 Squadron which was now required to provide all convoy cover. This squadron lost two aircraft in January. One struck the ground while on an operational travel flight and all members of the crew were killed. The same day (27th January) another Ventura engaged on a training exercise at Gove crashed into the sea. There were three survivors from this crash but one of them died later.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 402

Tragedy struck on the 27th of January, when A59-56 crashed near Bremer Island close to Gove while on gunnery exercises. Killed were: Warrant Officer Eric Peacock WIT Op Air, Flight Lieutenant Edward Calder Nav “B”, and Flight Sergeant Lloyd Ames Fitter IIA. A 42 Squadron Catalina picked up three survivors: they were Flying Officer Peter Clarkson Pilot (who subsequently died), Warrant Officer Gordon Cathro Air Gunner, and Warrant Officer George Murdoch WIT Op Air.

To compound this tragic day, Ventura A59-84 crashed in heavy weather when landing at Gould strip near Batchelor, killing all on board. The members lost (on this operational travel flight) were Flight Lieutenant George Anderson (Pilot), Flying Officer Nurden Chowns (W/T Op Air), Warrant Officer John Kay (W/T Op Air), Flying Officer Bruce Poole (Nav “B”), Leading Aircraftman James Pugh (Fitter IIE) and Flying Officer Charles Watts (W/T Op Air).

Extract from Grantham, S.R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991 – Page 83

The members lost on A59-84 were:

Flight Lieutenant George Alexander Anderson (22465) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Nurden Anderson Chowns (426311) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer John Kay (403695) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Bruce Lionel Poole (425050) (Navigator “B”)
Leading Aircraftman James David Pugh (46571) (Fitter II Engine)
Flying Officer Charles George Watts (423956) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 115


Grantham, S. R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991

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