NICHOLSON, John Gordon

Service Number: 17708
Enlisted: 11 September 1940
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 74 Wing Headquarters (Port Moresby)
Born: Kelmscott, Western Australia, 24 March 1920
Home Town: Victoria Park, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Accidental (Aircraft accident), Cleveland Bay, Townsville, Queensland, Australia, Off Queensland, Australia, 27 February 1942, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Sydney Memorial, Rookwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Sydney Memorial (Sydney War Cemetery) Rookwood
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Sergeant, 17708
11 Sep 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), RAAF Ground Training Schools
11 Sep 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant, 17708
27 Feb 1942: Involvement Sergeant, 74 Wing Headquarters (Port Moresby)

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Flying Boat A18-12 of 33 Squadron RAAF was extensively damaged in a landing accident in Cleveland Bay near Townsville on Friday 27 February 1942 opposite the Queens Hotel.  Killed in the incident were:

Pilot Officer Harold John Wagner 4215 - Son of John Henry and Catherine Wagner & Husband of Vivien Beatrice Aileen Wagner of Kingaroy, Queensland

Pilot Officer Peter Satterswaite Devonshire 407942 - Son of Lieutenant-Colonel Guy Satterswaite Devonshire and Doris Devonshire of Unley, SA

Corporal William James French 10429 - Son of William James French and Mary Jane French & Husband of Doris Ethel French of Ulverstone, Tasmania

LAC Maurice Clayton 15065 - Son of Stanley and Florence Anne Clayton of East Katoomba, NSW

Flying Officer Robert John Love 400004 - Husband of Patricia Christine Love of Potts Point, NSW

Corporal Ronald Short 15928 - Son of James and Frederica Alice Short of Pennant Hills, NSW (died 3/3)

Sergeant John Gordon Nicholson 17708 - Son of Joseph and Maud Augusta Nicholson of Fremantle, WA (body not recovered, he is memorialised on the Panel 6 of the Sydney Memorial

Corporal Ray Silvester Diggles of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) 93900 - Daughter of George Silvester Diggles and Ida May Diggles of East Brisbane, Queensland (body not recovered, she is memorialised on the Panel 7 of the Sydney Memorial

Also on board at the time of the crash were:

Flight Sergeant Kenneth Macleay Poulton 34542 - discharged 24MAR1944

Flight Lieutenant Alan Filmer 274159 - discharged 30NOV1945

Flying Officer Leonard Charles Laurence 264288 - discharged 22DEC1943


(Short S23 C-Class S.849, Empire Flying Boat, RAAF aircraft A18-12 - G-AEUG "Coogee" was registered as VH-ABC on 26 September 1938. It was impressed to RAAF service from QANTAS on 28 August 1940. This was one of four Empire flying boats impressed into RAAF service)