William John Gardener
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||15 Feb 1914|
|Place of Birth||Karragullen, Western Australia|
|Death||17 Sep 1978 aged 65|
|Place of Death||Carlisle, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||28 years, 11 months|
5'4½" (1.64m) tall ; 168lbs|
76.203 kg; medium complexion ; hazel eyes ; brown hair ; right hand index finger missing.
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Cnr Hastings & Scarborough roads, Scarborough, Western Australia.|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Valda May Gardener|
|Date of Enlistment||6 Feb 1943|
|Unit/Formation||No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron RAAF|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Remained in Australia|
War Medal 1939-45 |
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
At time of first applying to join the RAAF, Bill was a labourer working for the Melville Roads Board. In Jan 1943 he declared that he was a truck driver working for EG Woolcott.
Enlisted as an Aircraftsman level 1 at the No. 4 Recruiting Centre in Perth. After some basic drill training he was remustered as a Driver Motor Transport on 6 Feb 1943 and posted to the No. 17 Repair & Salvage Unit on 12 Mar 1943. On 23 Sep 1943 Bill was charged with drinking alcohol when on duty. He was awarded 7 day's Field Punishment.Bill was promoted to Leading Aircraftsman on 1 Oct 1943. During 1943 he also married Valda May Barrett in Perth.
This was followed by a transfer on 11 Apr 1944 to No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron RAAF based at Pearce at a time when they were undertaking Army co-operation duties. On 24 Jul 1944 he was charged with two offences, 1) failing to take sufficient care of goods entrusted to his care, and 2) failing to report at a proper time. Awarded 14 days Field Punishment and forfeiture of 14 days pay.
On 29 Sep 1944 he was posted to the No. 6 Airfield Construction Squadron. Its location is not known, but as Bill doesn't appear to have qualified for the Pacific Star, it would have been in Australia. On 1 Mar 1945 Bill was sent to the No. 5 Personnel Depot for discharge (medically unfit for service in tropical climates) which took place on 16 Mar 1945.
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1954 at 13 Nash street, Peth, railway employee; 1958 at 194 Loftus street, North Perth, porter; 1972 at 17 Star street, Carlisle, retired.
Children recorded on Air Force records seemingly from a previous marriage are: Valda June b. 21 Sep 1934; Donald William b. 28 Sep 1936; Douglas Donald b. 20 Dec 1937; and Barry John b. 8 Feb 1940. They were being looked after by his mother in law. Valda died 12 Aug 1998, aged 84 in Claremont.