MILDWATERS, Claude James

Service Number: SX18051
Enlisted: 19 March 1942, Wayville, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Cherry Gardens, South Australia, 21 March 1914
Home Town: Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Unknown
Occupation: Unknown
Died: Injuries, New Guinea, 7 September 1943, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
Plot 1, Row F, Grave 4
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Peake War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

19 Mar 1942: Enlisted Private, SX18051, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion, Wayville, SA
19 Mar 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX18051, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion
7 Sep 1943: Involvement Private, SX18051, 2nd/33rd Infantry Battalion, New Guinea - Huon Peninsula / Markham and Ramu Valley /Finisterre Ranges Campaigns
Date unknown: Involvement

Tragedy strikes 2nd/33rd Battalion while awaiting troop lift flight to Nadzab

The 2nd/33rd returned to Port Moresby in late July in preparation for the operations capture Lae, in New Guinea. On 7 September, while it waited near Jackson's Airfield at '7Mile' near Moresby to be flown to Nadzab, via Tsili Tsili, a fully fuelled and 'bombed up' US B-24 Liberator bomber crashed on take off among the trucks carrying the battalion. Sixty men, mainly from D Company, were killed and 92 injured. This represented a third of the battalion's fatal casualties for the entire war.

The remnants of the battalion were flown to Nadzab on 8 September and subsequently participated in the advance on Lae, which fell on 16 September.

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Claude James MILDWATERS was born in Cherry Gardens, South Australia on 21st March, 1914

His parents were Albert James MILDWATERS & Florence Beatrice HICKS who married in the Methodist Church in Cherry Gardens on 12th May, 1909

He married Amy Violet Myrtle MERRITT in 1939 (South Australia)

Claude died of injuries in New Guinea on 7th September, 1943 and is buried in the Bomana War Cemetery

His brother Leslie Gordon MILDWATERS (SX 17931) also served in New Guinea and was Killed in Action on 18th October, 1943