Nicholas Keating

From Our Contribution

Nicholas Keating
Personal Information
Date of Birth 4 Aug 1903
Place of Birth Liverpool, England
Death 9 Oct 1997, aged 94
Place of Death Lesmurdie, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 36 years, 7 months
Description 5'6" (1.68m) tall ; 160lbs
72.575 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; black hair
Occupation Plumber
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Albany road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs. Mavis Jean Keating
Military Information
Reg Number 16061
Date of Enlistment 18 Mar 1940
Rank Leading Aircraftman
Unit/Formation No. 482 Squadron RAAF
Post War Details
Medals 1939-45 Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Prior to arrival in Australia Nicholas had served in the RAF for 8 years (19 Mar 1919- 29 Jan 1929) as a Coppersmith. (He had been enlisted at 15 into the RAF Boys Service). Following his arrival in Western Australia he had been a general farmer for 8 years, and more lately had worked for the Main Roads Department in road construction. During 1933 Nicholas married Mavis Jean Hinkley in Moora. Mavis died on 4 Nov 1974, aged 64 in Bedford. On enlistment in 1940 their children were: Raymond (b.5 Mar 1937); Mary Jean (b. 9 Oct 1933); and Nova Frances (b. 8 Sep 1935).

Electoral Roll entries: 1936 c/o T.R. Merry, Barrabarra, Dalwallinu, farm hand; 1937 at 56 Palmerston street, North Perth, labourer; 1943 at 219 Brisbane street, North Perth, labourer.

War Service

On 18 Mar 1940 at the No. 4 RAAF Recruiting Centre Nicholas enlisted in the RAAF and was mustered as a Coppersmith. As he was a year older than the recruitment ceiling for is trade of 35 years, he had to appeal through Ministerial channels to be accepted. Sent to the No. 4 Recruit Depot RAAF to undertake the NO 9 Drill Course, on 20 Apr 1940 he was posted to the No. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAF at Laverton, Victoria. On 13 Oct 1940 he returned to Western Australia, posted to the RAAF Base Pearce, where on 1 Dec 1940 he was appointed Leading Aircraftman, and then promoted Corporal on 1 Jun 1941.

On 22 Oct 1941 Nicholas was posted to the No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School RAAF at Port Pirie in South Australia, where between 19 Nov and 3 Dec 1941 he undertook an Anti-Gas Course before transferring on 19 Jan 1942 back to the No. 1 Aircraft Depot RAAF at Laverton. On 18 May 1942 he moved again, this time to No. 7 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF at Western Junction, and it was while he was there that he was promoted Sergeant on 1 Nov 1942. Nicholas was admitted to the Laune General Hospital from 3 - 20 Nov 1942, and on 18 Jan 1943 he was posted to No. 1 Operational Training Unit RAAF, then at Bairnsdale in Victoria. The unit moved to East Sale, also in Victoria, later in 1943. On 15 Dec 1943 Nicholas was transferred to No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF at Cunderdin. It was here that Nicholas was charged with having been AWOL from 1:00am on 28 Feb 1944 until 12:30pm on 29 Feb 1944. Admonished, he also lost 2 day's pay.

Nicholas was then posted to the No. 4 Aircraft Depot RAAF at Pearce on 21 Jun 1944, but soon after (9 Sep 1944) he was transferred to the No. 4 Personnel Depot RAAF. They in turn sent him to the No. 2 Reserve Personnel Pool RAAF at Aitkenvale, a suburb of Townsville.

On 5 Oct 1944 Nicholas was posted to the No. 43 Squadron RAAF which was operating Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft from Darwin harbour. Nicholas left 43 Squadron for No. 201 Flight RAAF (an experimental electronic intelligence unit) on 25 Jun 1945, before transferring again to No. 2 Reserve Personnel Pool RAAF on 10 Oct 1945. On 19 Oct 1945, with the war over he was posted to No. 5 Personnel Depot RAAF, where he was discharged on 29 Nov 1945.

Post War

On 13 Sep 1946 Nicholas enlisted for two years in what was known as the Interim Air Force, again mustered as a Coppersmith with the rank of Leading Aircraftman. On 27 Sep 1946 he was posted to No. 1 Aircraft Depot before moving to the No. 482 Squadron RAAF at Amberley in Queensland. While posted to Amberley airbase he had requested a transfer to RAAF Base Pearce as he wished to avail himself of the opportunity to take up a farm under the War Service Land Settlement Scheme. Seemingly he was successful as he was posted to RAAF Base Pearce on 12 Jan 1948 before being discharged at his own request on 28 Jan 1948.

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at Ravensthorpe, farmer; 1954 at 'Greenfields' Farm, Manjimup with Mavis, farmer; 1958 - 63 at Geophysical Observatory, Mundaring, assistant; 1968 at 178 St George's terrace, building supervisor; 1972 - 1980 at 28 Burma road, Kalamunda, retired.


External Links