Basil James (Jim) MCSHARRY MiD

MCSHARRY, Basil James

Service Numbers: Q303146, 404710
Enlisted: 11 July 1940, Yeppoon, Queensland
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 22 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Mount Morgan, Queensland, 9 July 1920
Home Town: Mount Morgan, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Rockhampton High School
Occupation: Bank clerk
Died: Natural causes (respiratory failure), Brisbane, Queensland, 12 February 2016, aged 95 years
Cemetery: Mount Thompson Memorial Gardens & Crematorium, Queensland
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

11 Jul 1940: Enlisted Private, SN Q303146, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Yeppoon, Queensland
7 Aug 1940: Discharged Private, SN Q303146
8 Nov 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 404710, Brisbane, Queensland
9 Nov 1940: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 404710, Empire Air Training Scheme
27 Jul 1941: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Airman Pilot
9 Jan 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant, SN 404710, No. 22 Squadron (RAAF)

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Biography contributed by Philip McSharry

Jim was born in Mt Morgan, 25 miles south East of Rockhampton in Queensland, Australia, the first child of James Francis (Sid) McSharry and Bridget Margaret (Bridie) Conroy. He matriculated as Dux of Rockhapton High in 1937 and joined the Commonwealth Bank in Mt Morgan. Jim enlisted in the RAAF on 8th November, 1940 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer (trove.nla.gov.au) on 13th July, 1941, serving in Canada, United Kingdom, the Mediterranean and the Philippines. 

He was severely wounded by an enemy cannon shell while flying out of Malta in 1942, but landed safely before passing out at the controls.  He was later awarded a "Mention in Despatches (www.awm.gov.au)" for the feat.

He was a Flight Lieutenant in the 22nd Squadron (RAAF) in Sydney before being honourably discharged (while acting Squadron Leader) on 19th August 1945 at the end of WW2.

Returning to the Bank after the war, he was moved to Brisbane and was engaged to Betty Kitson (www.myheritage.com) in November 1946, Betty was born november 12, 1923 in Brisbane and she also served in the Air Force during the war years.  They were married on Easter Monday 1947 (www.myheritage.com) in St Stephens Cathedral, Brisbane.  They had three children, Philip James (1948) Diane Patricia (1950) and Lesleay Anne (1952).

Jim completed a Bachelor of Economics at the University of QLD by studying part time and was transferred to the Reserve Bank of Australia shortly after its formation.  He served that bank in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and London UK, before his retirement.

Jim passed away peacefully in his sleep at a nursing home in Brisbane at age 95.

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