Edward Watling

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Edward Watling
Watling Edward.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 25 Jul 1912
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 15 Mar 1943
Place of Death Yetna, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 11 months
Description 5'7½" (1.71 m) tall ; 129lbs
58.513 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair ; tattoo on left upper arm
Occupation Labourer
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Therese Watling
Military Information
Reg Number 17174
Date of Enlistment 1 Jul 1940
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation No. 14 Squadron RAAF
Post War Details
Fate Accidental death
Remained in Australia
Monument(s) Armadale War Memorial WW2 Plaque
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries: 1936 at Norseman, miner; 1943 at RAAF Pearce, airman

At the time of his enlistment he was working for the Armadale - Kelmscott Road Board, and he produced written character references from both the Board Chair W.A. Haynes JP, and the Board Secretary/Engineer Mr Spencer Gwynne as well as Mr James Harrison, a local store keeper. During 1941 Edward married Therese Veronica O'Connor (1915 - 1976) in Fremantle. In 1945 Therese remarried, this time to Joseph F. Ryan in Geraldton.

War Service

Although Ted began the enlistment process on 18 Apr 1940, 1 Jul 1940 is listed as his date of enlistment. Originally mustered as a labourer, he began his service by attending a Recruit Drill Course at No. 4 Recruit Depot RAAF. His pay was 5 Shillings per day (50 cents). On 17 Aug 1940 he was posted to Station Headquarters at Pearce, and on 6 Nov 1940 had done well enough to be promoted Leading Aircraftman on 6 Nov 1940. On 3 Feb 1941 Ted was remustered as a Driver, and six months later, following his request that he be considered for aircrew, on 14 Sep 1941 he was transferred to No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF at Pearce, which necessitated his reverting to Aircraftman Level 2.

On graduation he was promoted Leading Aircraftman (aircrew) on 6 Dec 1941, and posted to the No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF at Ballarat on 11 Dec 1941 here he graduated with the ability to send 20 words per minute, and receive 22 words per minute of Morse code. The next step in his training was via a posting to the No. 3 Bombing & Air Gunnery School RAAF at West Sale from 29 Jun 1942 to 28 Jul 1942, and after achieving average to good results, he was posted to the No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF at Fremantle. Here on 23 Jul 1942 Ted was promoted Temporary Sergeant. Three weeks later on 21 Aug 1942 he transferred to the No. 4 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Adelaide, followed by being transferred to No. 1 Operational Training Unit RAAF at Bairnsdale on 6 Oct 1942. Here he undertook the No. 6 Course on Bristol Beauforts from 1 Dec 1942 to 9 Feb 1943.

Training completed, on 22 Feb 1943 Ted was posted to No. 14 Squadron RAAF. Soon after Ted was killed in an aircraft accident on 15 Mar 1943 at Yetna, 15 Km north of Geraldton, Western Australia during the crash of Bristol Beaufort A9-173. Therese was granted a War Widow's Pension of £4/4/- ($8.40) per fortnight from 4 May 1943.

Geraldton War Cemetery. Edward 's grave is Plot A, Row A, Grave No.15


A Court of Inquiry was held on 31 Mar 1943 into an accident involving Beaufort aircraft A9-173. It noted that two additional personnel were on board in addition to the crew, and Edward was one of those. The total number of personnel on board and therefore killed was eight (8). The accident occurred at 6:10am on 15 Mar 1943, and the inquiry found that no personnel were responsible for the crash

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