Thomas Henry POOLE


POOLE, Thomas Henry

Service Number: 19812
Enlisted: 19 November 1940, Melbourne,Victoria
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 3 Operational Training Unit
Born: Brunswick, Victoria, 19 February 1914
Home Town: Bondi, Waverley, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Accidental (plane crash), Port Stephens, New South Wales, 24 May 1943, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Newcastle (Sandgate) War Cemetery
Plot E, Row D, Grave 15
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 2 Service

20 Nov 1939: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2, SN 19812
19 Nov 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2, SN 19812, Melbourne,Victoria
24 May 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Corporal, SN 19812, 3 Operational Training Unit

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

Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Father Phillip Henry Poole
(16/4/1924 filed for divorce with wife Elizabeth - Justice Schutt agreed)
and Mother Elizabeth Poole, Brunswick, Victoria

On enlisting Thomas lived at 6 Orari Avenue, East Brunswick, Victoria

Wife:  Gwen Isabel Poole, lived at 147 Bondi Road, Bondi, NSW
(25/02/1949 - moved to 23 Malborough Hall, Rosyn Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, NSW)

He gained his qualifications at Melbourne Technical School;
3 years Turning and Fitting
2 years Milling and Gearcutting

1934-1937 Citizen Air Forces - Aero Fitter as a Lead Aircraftsmen
left due to business reasons, transferred to Reserves

Prior to enlisting Thomas worked as a Tuner and Tester for Shell Co. of Australia for 5 years

Described on enlisting into WWII as 26 years 9 months of age; single; 5' 7" tall; 124 lbs;
medium complexion; brown eyes; medium hair; Baptist

29/11/1940  enlisted into WWII RAAF in East Brunswick, Victoria
                   place of enlisting Laverton, VIC

09/01/1941  No.1 Engineer School, Ascot Vale (tech training)

19/01/1941 to 09/05/1941 - course - Fitter II E
                  No.1 Engineering School, RAAF Showgrounds, Ascot Vale

PASSED and Appointed Fitter IIE (2E)

17/08/1942 to 20/09/1942 - course - 13 Catalina Conversion Course for Fitter II(E)
                  Unit - Seaplane Training Squadron at Rahmines
                  "PASSED - Air Gunners Course in accordance with RAAF"

21/09/1942  awarded Air Gunners Badge



RAAF PBY-5 Catalina, A24-39 (USN 0826), of 3 Operational Training Unit Rathmines (3 OTU) crashed during a landing in rough seas opposite Wonderrabah Knob, Port Stephens, New South Wales at 0915 hours on 24 May 1943. The aircraft had been delivered to the RAAF in February 1942. The flight was part of an inspection of the Broken Bay and Port Stephens areas. F/Lt Higgins had flown to Port Stephens to see if the water was rough enough to carry out rough water landings as laid down in No. 3 OTU training. The OTU course had been extended by one week so that the pilots could get training in rough water landings. F/Lt Higgins had apparently decided that Broken Bay was not suitable for the training and proceed to Port Stephens where he crashed on landing.

Seven men were killed in the crash and two were injured as follows:-

Flight Lieutenant Brian Hartley Higgins (400620) - Pilot - Killed
Pilot Officer Max Alexander Larkan (409842) - 2nd Pilot - Killed
Sergeant Alan Fullerton Craddock (408799) - 2nd Pilot - Killed
Pilot Officer Norman John Brown (411992) W.A. Gunner - Killed
Corporal Thomas Henry Poole (19812) Fitter 2E - Killed
LAC Henry George Lovett (21419) - Fitter 2A - Killed
Sergeant John Johnson (411710) - W.A. Gunner - Seriously injured
Corporal Jaffre David James (8164) - Fitter 2E - Killed
AC1 Kenneth Carlyle Stow (72521) - Armourer - Slight Shock

Thomas was buried in:
Sandgate War Cemetery, Sandgate, Newcastle, New South Wales
Plot E, Row D, Grave 15

His name is commemorated on Panel 112 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.

His name is also commemorated on a plaque at 5a Lighthouse Road, Inner Light Maritime
Museum & Tea Rooms, Nelson Bay, NSW.

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  12/03/2017.  Lest we forget.