BEATTIE, David Nye

Service Number: 425584
Enlisted: 25 April 1942
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Atherton, Queensland, Australia, 13 September 1919
Home Town: Malanda, Tablelands, Queensland
Schooling: Yungaburra State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Dairy Farmer & Chiropractor
Died: War Blinded. Natural cause of death, Atherton, Queensland, Australia, April 2008
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Queensland Garden of Remembrance (Pinnaroo), Qld
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 425584, Brisbane, Queensland
25 Apr 1942: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 425584
19 Jan 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 425584, No. 467 Squadron (RAAF)
19 Jan 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 425584

My Most Respected Friend

Most Respected Friend Tribute by Bill Jackson
Printed in Residents Varied Experiences. David Beattie & Bill Jackson
Carinya Home for the Aged sometime during David’s residence. RAAF 463-467 Squadron

David’s family would like to thank Bill enormously for this generous tribute.

David Nye Beattie, DFM, was born in Atherton in 1919. He was the sixth child of 7, born to pioneering couple Alf & Hannah Beattie, who took up a raw bush selection on Gwynne Creek. David worked on the family farm and in 1939, when his father died from a heart attack, his mother and the children carried on the farm. They purchased a McCormack T20-tractor to do the ploughing, to take the place of horses.
In 1941 he was called up for military service in the 51st Battalion with several other Tablelanders, including myself. It was in that organisation that I first met David and after 56 years, he is still my most respected friend.
After completing bombing and gunnery courses and then a navigation course, we were given our wings and posted across the Atlantic to the UK. David’s crew was posted to 467 Australian Lancaster Squadron. The crew operated with distinction, completing 25 operations without mishap: On 4th November 1944 they were assigned to an operation to breach the Dortmund-Emms Canal and on the run into the target they were attacked by a German fighter, which put 97 bullets into their aircraft. Only 1 bullet hit a crew member --- and that was David. It struck him in the forehead rendering him unconscious and fighting for his life. The crew reached the east coast of England and landed on an emergency strip on one engine. With ambulances standing by to take charge, he was rushed to hospital where eye specialists and surgeons carried out surgery. David’s brain was not affected, but the retina behind his eyes was so badly damaged it was quickly ascertained he would be blinded for life. After leaving hospital David was taken to St Dunstan’s Institute for the Blind, where he learned to read and type Braille. He started to do a masseur’s course, but found it too difficult because all the body parts had to be learned in Latin.
David became very homesick towards the end of the 10 months between November 1944 and October 1945, so left England for home with two RAAF escorts. Arriving back in Australia, and then the Atherton Tableland. He was given a hero’s welcome. One of the most prominent people on the welcoming party was a close school friend from the adjoining farm, Mary Coleman. While David was overseas, she wrote to him constantly and sent him parcels. She had now completed her nursing training. It was a quick romance and they were married in 1946.
David and Mary returned to St Dunstan’s in the UK to do a course in animal husbandry. David believed he could run a dairy farm with the aid of
Mary. Returning from the UK, they acquired a dairy farm near Ravenshoe. David set about fencing and subdividing the property, with electric fences, establishing new pastures, clearing rubbish and putting in a good water supply. They doubled production from the dairy and were able to install electricity.
David was a Director of the local butter and milk factory and a member of the local RSL.
At that time David and Mary had one son, Neville. A second son, Stanley was born about a year after they moved to the farm. A third child, Eleanor was born and they had to hire labour to help Mary in the house. David got the yard and milking so well organised he could do it and all the ancillary yard work without help – he just needed someone to put the cows in the bails. They continued this operation for 8 years. A fourth child, Virginia, was born and the pressure on Mary became too great, so they sold the farm and moved to Atherton.
Mary had a brother who was a chiropractor and bone manipulator. They formed a working relationship and the Beatties moved again, this time to Cairns. David studied chiropractic with talking books, seminars, and from any other source or way he could and soon became very proficient and enjoyed meeting and helping people in trouble with bad backs, etc. There was no shortage of patients! After some time, he and Mary decided to branch out on their own and bought a building close to their home. He imported a special table from America ( the only one in Australia at that time), requiring a special permit to import it. The business flourished.
The children grew up and started looking for careers after finishing school. Neville trained as a chiropractor and went in the business and soon took over, so David and Mary moved to Malanda and started another business. Stanley the second son, also learned the trade and went into the Malanda business.
However, he did not care for the indoors and left to go into the building industry.
It was now time for David and Mary to have a rest, so they sold out and semi-retired to Second Beach, near Cairns. Before long, they found this location too lonely and isolated, so again moved back to Atherton. This was closer to family members and friends they had known from early childhood.
The Beatties now reside at Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton. David moved here in March 2000 and Mary joined her husband later that year.

Showing 1 of 1 story