Pilot Officer James McLaren STIRLING MID

Service No: 405427
Born: Pittsworth QLD, 8 April 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 march 1941
Unit: No. 75 Squadron
Awarded the Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 75 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-523), near Madang PNG, 27 January 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Lorne Stirling and Janet Rolland Stirling, of Brookstead, Queensland
Roll of Honour: Pittsworth QLD
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial PNG
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 27 January 1944, Kittyhawk A29-523 flown by Pilot Officer Stirling was one of 12 Kittyhawks detailed to carry out the strafing of a target on Jomnba Island, about two miles south of Madang, New Guinea. A29-530 flown by Flying Officer Hunt was coming into the target from the north west at 2,000 feet in a gentle diving turn to starboard. Another aircraft flown by Flight Sergeant Crothers was following A29-530, on the same course a short distance behind. Pilot Officer Stirling flying Kittyhawk A29-523 was about 800 feet below coming in from the west in a slight diving turn on to the target, and directly below the two aircraft. The three aircraft converged on the Island and at 200 feet on the west side of the island. Flying Officer Hunt, who could not see Pilot Officer Stirling’s aircraft below him, collided with it as it attempted to pull away to starboard. Both aircraft fell to the ground, exploded on impact, and both pilots were killed. The pilots were:

Flying Officer Stanley Burfield Hunt (412078) (Pilot) A29-530
Pilot Officer James McLaren Stirling MID (405427) (Pilot) A29-523


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/38/94; A9845, 5


Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002