Eldred (Ted) QUINN

QUINN, Eldred

Service Number: 417413
Enlisted: 25 April 1942
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 80 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Gumeracha, South Australia, 17 September 1922
Home Town: Forreston, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Forreston Primary & Birdwood High School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Flying Battle, Borneo, 9 August 1945, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Labuan War Cemetery
Position 5, Row D, Grave 3,
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Forreston War Memorial Hall, Gumeracha Methodist Church Memorial Stained Glass Window, Gumeracha Our Fallen Heroes WW2 Honour Board
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World War 2 Service

25 Apr 1942: Involvement Pilot Officer, 417413
25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, 417413, Adelaide, South Australia
25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, 417413
9 Aug 1945: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, 417413, No. 80 Squadron (RAAF), Borneo - Operation Oboe July - August 1945, Died as a result of air operations over enemy positions at Sanga Sanga, Borneo during a Flying Battle in a Kittyhawk A 29-1161

Help us honour Eldred Quinn's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Eldred was born on 17th September, 1922 in Gumeracha in South Australia

His parents were Albert John QUINN and Evelyn Kate PANNELL

He was a Pilot Officer with the RAAF - Unit - 80th Squadron

He died as a result of his plane being shot down during  air operations over enemy positions at Sanga Sanga, Borneo on 9th August, 1945  & is buried in Labuan War Cemetery in Malaysia with a cross & headstone bearing the words

"Under the shadow of thy wings, he rests, lovingly remembered"

He name is memoralized on the Australian War Memorial, the Adelaide Wall of Remembrance & the Forreston War Memorial Hall, Gumeracha, South Australia

He was flying a Kittyhawk A 20 -1161 during his last battle with the enemy


Biography contributed by Cornerstone College

Winning biography for Premier's ANZAC SPIRIT School Prize 2023 by Zoe Bennett, Cornerstone College. Zoe's entry is also attached as a document.


Eldred 'Ted' Quinn, born on September 17, 1922, in Gumeracha, South Australia, was a true farm boy. He spent his early years growing up in Forreston, SA, with his father, ex-war veteran Albert John Quinn, his mother Evelyn Kate 'Kitty' Pannell, his grandmother Emma Pannell, and his sister Valerie Quinn. The family lived on Tollcross farm, a property that had been in their family for generations prior. Like most children of his time, Eldred loved spending time outdoors and playing with his childhood friends, including Eric Jamieson, who lived just down the road. Eldred attended Forreston Primary School, where he formed close bonds with other children his age in the close-knit community of Forreston. When he wasn't in school, he spent his free time shooting rabbits and foxes to sell for their meat and skin, swimming in dams/swimming holes, riding horses around the farm, and playing tennis for the Forreston tennis club (Jamieson, p. 206). Having finished primary school, Eldred entered Birdwood high school, finding himself with more responsibilities as he aged. Working on the farm was something that Eldred had always done, but as he got older, he was tasked with some of the more laborious aspects. This resulted in him naturally following the path to becoming a farmer after leaving school. Throughout this transition out of school, Eldred stayed close to Eric Jamieson, and as tension regarding the Japanese involvement in WWII grew, the two made a pledge to join the RAAF together. Eldred had always had a fascination with the concept of seeing the world and liked the idea of following in his father’s footsteps and serving his country proudly.

Eldred Quinn enlisted in the RAAF on ANZAC Day, 25th April 1942, and began training by attending No. 4 Initial Training School (ITS), at Mount Breckan in Victor Harbor, South Australia. At ITS, RAAF aircrew candidates began training with detailed screenings carried out to allocate them for aircrew roles (musterings) such as pilots, bomb aimers, navigators etc (VWMA, n.d.). Following completion of ITS, candidates were transferred to other schools in Australia or other Commonwealth countries to complete their training under the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). Eldred attended No. 11 Elementary Flying Training School (11EFTS) in Benalla, Victoria, in 1943, before being admitted to No.2 RAAF Hospital on March 29th, 1943 (NAA, n.d.), for a reason unknown. He was discharged on November 26th, 1943, and completed his training at 11EFTS. Quinn then attended Deniliquin's No 7 SFTS, where he obtained his Flying Badge on June 28, 1944 (Weller, n.d.).

On July (4th-17th) 1944, during sick leave, Eldred piloted a DC3 from Borneo via Singapore to transfer sick people from various hospitals to Adelaide (1944 Letter from Family member Leon Pascoe). After landing at Parafield Airport, Eldred borrowed a car to visit his family at Tollcross farm. He was only able to be there for an hour or so before being required to depart, never to see them again.

Following his return to the war, Quinn attended No. 8 OTU, in Parkes for a short while before transferring to No. 2 OTU, Mildura, for Kittyhawk fighter conversion training. As a final source of training, in October 1944, Quinn completed 1RPP.

In November 1944 Eldred was posted to No. 80 Squadron, which had previously been designated a Kittyhawk squadron in September 1943. This squadron saw action in the Southwest Pacific theatre, and in 1944 it supported advancing allied forces by conducting operations in New Guinea from forward airstrips including Nadzab, Cape Gloucester, Tadji and Hollandia.

Quinn went on to be appointed temporary Flight Sergeant on January 1st, 1945, and by later that month, the 80th squadron had relocated to Morotai in support of the attacks taking place in the Dutch East Indies.

On the 15th of February 1945, Flight Sergeant Quinn was involved in a crash while piloting the A29-681. The aircraft's port tyre blew up during take-off, on Wama Strip Morotai, causing it to run off the strip (NAA, n.d.). Quinn took corrective measures but could not control the aircraft. He sustained no injuries; however, the aircraft was extensively damaged. Following this, Quinn received a new plane, the Kittyhawk A29-1161, which he dubbed the "US Feller's" and decorated with a caricature of Ginger Meggs.

At the age of 22, on August 9th, 1945, Quinn was part of an attack consisting of 8 aircrafts on Japanese forces in eastern Borneo, north of Balikpapan (Weller, n.d.). This was to be his final mission since he had just finished his operational tour with the 80th Squadron. He had been detailed to fly in Blue Section as No.3 on a bombing and strafing attack on Japanese positions in the Sanga Sanga Louise area. The aircrafts attacked in line-astern formation, and Quinn dropped two 250-pound bombs before making his strafing attack with the Kittyhawk A29-1161, during which his rear engine cowling was hit. Flames could be spotted on the underside of the aircraft's cowling, but he was able to complete the attack and level to port (NAA, n.d.). At this point, it was known that a forced landing would be required, and a belly landing was seen to be made by the Kittyhawk, but as it skidded along the ground it crashed into an oil-pumping installation, causing both to burst into flames. He was therefore reported 'missing, believed killed' prior to the final report, labelling him as ‘killed’ (NAA, n.d.). Close to one week after Eldred Quinn’s death, on the 15th of August, Japan surrendered. Quinn’s death is the last RAAF casualty recorded prior to the cancellation of all air operations against the Japanese.

Following his death, Quinn was posthumously promoted to Pilot Officer in October 1945. He received multiple honours for his service, including the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-45, and the Australian Service Medal 1939-1945.

Quinn's name is listed in several memorials, further enabling people to reflect on and pay tribute to his service.



Air Force Association - SA Division (2021). Air Force Association - SA Division. [online] www.facebook.com. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/raafasa/posts/2369762093158001/  [Accessed 17 Apr. 2023].

Australian Government, C.C. (2022). Borneo 1942-1945. [online] Anzac Portal. Available at: https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/resources/borneo-1942-1945  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].

Aviation Heritage Museum (2022). QUINN Eldred 417413. [online] Aviation Heritage Museum. Available at: https://aviationmuseumwa.org.au/afcraaf-roll/quinn-eldred-417413/  [Accessed 17 Apr. 2023].

AWM (2023). Pilot Officer Eldred Quinn. [online] www.awm.gov.au. Available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10319675 [Accessed 4 Apr. 2023].

DVA (2023). DVA’s Nominal Rolls. [online] nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au. Available at: https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=1060868&c=WW2#R  [Accessed 21 Apr. 2023].

Eric Clifford Jamieson (2005). The War, the RAAF and Me, 1942-1946. Eric Jamieson, Pg. 44-45. [Accessed 11 Apr. 2023].

Monument Australia (2023). Sergeant Colin Hanna & Pilot Officer Eldred Quinn | Monument Australia. [online] monumentaustralia.org.au. Available at: https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/military/display/97613-sergeant-colin-hanna-and-pilot-officer-eldred-quinn  [Accessed 14 Apr. 2023].

NAA (2023a). Kittyhawk A29 [Accidents Part 20] {Note: for table of accidents see item note}. [online] National Archives of Australia. Available at: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7127513  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023]. Pg. 38.

NAA (2023b). Kittyhawk A29 [Accidents Part 25] {Note: for table of accidents see item note}. [online] National Archives of Australia. Available at: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7127519  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023]. Pg. 40.

NAA (2023c). QUINN ELDRED: Service Number - 417413: Date of birth - 17 Sep 1922: Place of birth - GUMERACHA SA: Place of enlistment - ADELAIDE SA: Next of Kin - QUINN ALBERT. [online] National Archives of Australia. Available at: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=5247940  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].

Trove (1945). Private Casualty Advices. Advertiser, [online] 14 Sep., Pg. 9. Available at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/48667640?searchTerm=Eldred%20Quinn  [Accessed 4 Apr. 2023].

Trove (1948). GUMERACHA. Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser, [online] 29 Apr., Pg. 8. Available at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/148081335?searchTerm=Eldred%20Quinn  [Accessed 4 Apr. 2023].

Trove (1950). Family Notices. Advertiser, [online] 9 Aug., Pg. 22. Available at: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/44932800  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].

VWMA (2022a). Eldred (Ted) QUINN. [online] vwma.org.au. Available at: https://vwma.org.au/explore/people/510463  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].

VWMA (2022b). No. 4 Initial Training School Victor Harbor. [online] vwma.org.au. Available at: https://vwma.org.au/explore/units/1300  [Accessed 11 Apr. 2023].

VWMA (2022c). Virtual War Memorial. [online] vwma.org.au. Available at: https://vwma.org.au/explore/campaigns/76  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].

Weller, G. (2022). SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AVIATION MUSEUM SIGNIFICANT AVIATOR PROFILES PLTOFF ELDRED (TED) QUINN 80 SQN (RAAF), Kittyhawk Pilot. [online] Available at: https://www.saam.org.au/history_group_docs/SAAM%20Biography%20-%20QUINN%20Eldred%20(Ted).pdf  [Accessed 3 Apr. 2023].