John Geoffrey Norman GADSDEN


GADSDEN, John Geoffrey Norman

Service Number: 418828
Enlisted: 19 June 1942
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 2 Operational Training Unit Mildura
Born: Toorak, Victoria, Australia, 28 April 1924
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Aircraft accident, Wentworth, New South Wales, Australia, 25 October 1944, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Mildura (Nichols Point) Public Cemetery, Victoria
War Graves Plot C. Row B. Grave 16, Mildura Public Cemetery, Mildura, Victoria, Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Pilot Officer, SN 418828
19 Jun 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant, No. 2 Operational Training Unit Mildura
19 Jun 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 418828



Two airmen were killed while engaged in aerobatic flying near a Victorian RAAF training station last week, when the aircraft failed to recover from a vertical spin.
Those killed were: Pilot-Officer J. G. Gadsden, of Hopetoun rd, Toorak; Flight-Sgt C. J. O'connell, of Cowra, NSW.

Pilot-Officer John Geoffrey Norman Gadsden was the only son of Norman Gadsden, of 5 Hopetoun rd, Toorak, and a grandson of the late Mr T. Smith and Mrs Smith.
Aged 20, he was educated at Scotch College and Geelong Grammar School, and while at the latter passed the first air training course. Leaving school, he joined the RAAF, and on completion of is training was- posted as a fighter pilot to a RAAF Kittyhawk squadron, . with which he was in action in the South-West Pacific
area, during which time he took part in the famous air battle over Biak, when his squadron shot down eight enemy aircraft and damaged two, with the loss of one plane.
Having completed nine months operational service, he was recently posted to a station as an instructor.

The Argus Tuesday 31 October 1944 page 3

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Son of Mr and Mrs N. Gadsden of Toorak, Victoria


RAAF Wirraway aircraft A20-613 of Number 2 Operational Training Unit crashed near Wentworth, NSW killing Pilot Officer John Geoffrey Norman Gadsden 418828 and Flight Sergeant Edward John O'Connell 423858


From adfserials: authorised to conduct aerobatics and spins as part of an exercise PLTOFF Gadsden failed to recover from a spin, which was observed from a second aircraft as to spin approximately two or three times. It is thought that the dual stick which had been in place in the aircraft had possibly jammed against the Observers seat. His observer, FSGT O'Connell had earlier that day been released from hospital after contracting Malaria but was cleared fit for flying duties.