Corporal William Alexander WHITTAKER MID

Service No: 47773
Born: Port Broughton SA, 9 December 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 March 1942
Unit: No. 7 Mobile Works Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Awarded a Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
Died: Ground Accident (Believed Drowned), Aitape PNG, 29 April 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Harry and Catherine Cheyne Whittaker, of Cleve, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Cleve SA
Remembered: Panel 7, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 114, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

MID Citation: During the Persecution operation, Corporal Whittaker, plant operator, showed outstanding ability, disregard of personal danger and devotion to duty. He operated his machine under constant threat of enemy attack and sniper fire at a time when active operations were proceeding only a few hundred yards away. His work and his example to his fellow plant operators contributed in no small measure to the success of an operation which resulted in the Tadji airfield being operational within 48 hours of the landing.

On 29 April 1944, Corporal Whittaker, a Plant Operator, disappeared while checking the depth of the Raihu River at Aitape, Papua New Guinea, which was to be crossed by bulldozers. He was reported missing believed drowned.


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, 166/43/694


Croft, I. (Ian) We Prepared the Way: RAAF Airfield Construction Squadrons, db Publishing, Mandurah WA 6210, 2006
Wilson, D. (David) Always First: the RAAF airfield construction squadrons 1942-1974, Air Power Studies Centre Canberra ACT 2600, 1998

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