Clement Batstone WIGGINS


WIGGINS, Clement Batstone

Service Number: 405335
Enlisted: 2 March 1941
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: No. 100 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Gatton, Queensland, 29 March 1915
Home Town: Murgon, South Burnett, Queensland
Schooling: Brisbane Teacher's Training College
Occupation: School Teacher (Murgon State School)
Died: Killed in Action (flying battle), Gasmata Harbour, New Britain, 5 September 1943, aged 28 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gatton Weeping Mother Memorial, Murgon Memorial Wall, Murgon RSL Honour Board, Murgon War Memorial, Rabaul Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Warrant Officer, SN 405335
2 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, SN 405335
5 Sep 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, No. 100 Squadron (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by Karen Standen

On the 12th April 1943, Clem survived an aircraft accident receiving only minor injuries.  He was the Pilot of Beaufort Bomber A9-266 at the RAAF Base Torpedo Unit (/explore/units/1478) (BTU), when during a low formation training exercise involving three aircraft, A9-266 "slipped in", crashing at Cabbage Tree Creek on the northeast side of Jervis Bay, NSW.  Also surviving the accident were, Navigator Russell Henry Grigg and Wireless Operator Air Gunner (WOAG) Gordon Lewis Hamilton.  Their crewmate, WOAG Cyril Wattie Jackson (/explore/people/633620) was the only fatality and was buried at the Nowra War Cemetery (/explore/cemeteries/3206).

Prior to proceeding on his operational posting, Clem was granted nine days leave and travelled to Melbourne to marry A.W.A.S. Driver, Colina "Ailsa" Louisa McNaughton (/explore/people/796822) on the 11th May 1943 at the Presbyterian Church in Toorak.

During his time in New Guinea and quite by chance, Clem was able to meet up with his younger brother Mervyn John Wiggins (/explore/people/773639) who was also serving in New Guinea with the A.I.F..

Shortly afterwards Clem was killed during a bombing raid on Gasmata.  He was the Pilot of Beaufort Bomber A9-186, based at No. 100 Squadron (/explore/units/823), Gurney, New Guinea.  It was one of three aircraft lost in the ten aircraft operation on the 5th September 1943.  All four crew members of A9-186 were killed, including Navigator Russell Henry Grigg (/explore/people/630401), WOAG Gordon Lewis Hamilton (/explore/people/630816) and WOAG Albert Beckett (/explore/people/619517).

Clement Batstone Wiggins has been remembered on Queensland memorials in both his childhood hometown of Gatton and by the community where he last taught in Murgon.