Service Number: 418197
Enlisted: 25 April 1942
Last Rank: Pilot Officer
Last Unit: No. 21 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia, 6 August 1922
Home Town: Brighton, Bayside, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Prisoner of War - Executed, New Guinea, 31 March 1944, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Lae Memorial, Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Lae Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Pilot Officer, SN 418197
25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force
25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 418197
5 Mar 1944: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, SN 418197, No. 21 Squadron (RAAF), Air War SW Pacific 1941-45

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Biography contributed by David Barlow

Flight Sergeant James Richards 418466 (Pilot) and Flight Sergeant Leslie Stewart 418197 (Navigator / WAG) in 21SQN RAAF Vultee Vengeance A27-82 made a forced landing on the water 5 miles east of Madang after the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire while attacking enemy positions on the 5th of March 1944 - the body of Flight Sergeant Richards was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Lae Memorial

Further investigation post war confirmed that Flight Sergeant Stewart 418197 was captured by Japanese troops after he survived the crash and was executed at the Kempei Tai Headquarters compound at Amron north of Madang, New Guinea on the 31st of March 1944 - as his body was not located he is also commemorated on the Lae Memorial

Flight Sergeant McDonald 418154 who survived the ditching of Vengeance A27-276 on the 24th of February 1944 was executed at the same time (Flight Sergeant McAllister 23352 from A27-276 was KIA)