LEST WE FORGET

Mr William STEWART

RAAF Civilian Employee

Born: Location, Date unavailable
Died: 3 August 1944 (from injuries received in ground accident on 27 July 1944)
Age: 57 years
Unit: Headquarters RAAF Station Pearce
Buried: Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth WA

An accident in which a civilian labourer and a VULTEE VENGEANCE aircraft were involved took place on No. 1 Runway this morning. The labourer was engaged with another in repainting the numbers at the end of the runway, when the aircraft, taxying, ran into him, severing both his hands. A Court of Inquiry is proceeding to deal with the matter. Whilst it is not insinuated that the accident could have been avoided, attention is again directed to the very unsatisfactory establishment of this Station, whereby one officer occupies the posts of Barracks and Messing, The Barracks Officer is responsible for all maintenance of Aerodrome and Flying Facilities and the victim of the accident was carrying out duties allotted him by the Barracks Officer. As this same officer is responsible for the messing of over 1,800 members, about 80% of his time is, of necessity, devoted to messing duties. Frequent requests for an amendment to establishment in this respect have had negative results.

RAAF Station Pearce Operations Record Sheet A50 Entry dated 27 July 1944

At approximately 1000 hours, No 420376 Flight Sergeant PEART M.R. pilot and Flying Officer A.F. CORKHILL (420376) in A27-299 were taxying on the 050-230 degrees runway preliminary to take off on a dive bombing exercise. Mr. W. Stewart, a civilian worker who was painting numbers on the runway was struck by the airscrew, sustaining injuries to both arms which subsequently had to be amputated.

No. 25 Squadron Operations Record Sheet A50 Entry dated 27 July 1944

The death of Mr. Stewart is recorded with regret.

No. 25 Squadron Operations Record Sheet A50 Entry dated 4 August 1944

The funeral of the late Mr William STEWART, Civilian Labourer, was attended by the Commanding Officer and other Station members. The late Mr. Stewart was buried at Karrakatta. He was a victim of a Vultee propeller accident which resulted in both his arms cut off. The accident occurred on 27 July 1944, but he succumbed to his injuries on 3rd August.

RAAF Station Pearce Operations Record Sheet A50 Entry dated 5 August 1944

References:

Metropolitan Cemeteries Board (Perth) On-Line Records
RAAF Operations Record Book A50 – RAAF Station Pearce, No. 25 Squadron