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Arthur, Wilfred Stanley

Date of birth:
December 7th, 1919 (Yelarbon/Queensland, Australia)
Date of death:
December 23rd, 2000
Nationality:
Australian

Biography

Wilfred Stanley Arthur was born in Sydney, December 7th, 1919, son of Stanley Oswald Darley Arthur and Helena Elizabeth Arthur. He enlisted in the R.A.A.F. on September 4th, 1939. After completing basic training he was posted to 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron. earning his wings on March 2nd, 1940.July 1940 he left for North-Africa with 3 (Army Cooperation) Squadron. He scored his first aerial victory in a Gloster Gladiator, downing a Fiat CR-42 on December 12th, 1940. On December 13th, he was himself shot down by a Fiat CR-42 but managed to save himself by parachute. After initial conversion to the Hawker Hurricane, he flew the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk from May 1941 onwards. November 30th, 1941 he downed four enemy aircraft. His own plane was damaged to such an extent however that he was forced to crashland in the desert.
December 24th, 1941, he married Lucille Petrarki in Alexandria. March 1942, he and his wife returned to Australia. Ultimately, the couple had four children.
April 1942, he was posted to 76 Squadron on New Guinea and in February 1943 he was promoted to Squadron Leader of 75 Squadron. In June 1943 he took command of 71 Wing. November 5th, 1943, over Kirwina Air Field, he collided with a Spitfire from 79 Squadron, sustaining severe burns. After recuperation he took a Staff Course in April 1944 and subsequently took command of 2 O.T.U. and in December 1944, he assumed command of 81 Wing, Australian 1st Tactical Air Force. He was discharged from operational duty on February 14th, 1946.
Living in Darwin, he was initially employed by the Repatriation Department and in 1950, he entered service with the Australian School of Pacific Admininstration. Later on he started a dairyfarm in Vietnam where he was imprisoned by the VietCong in 1961. After his release he remained in Vietnam. At the end of the 60ís he returned to Australia and found employ with Geopeko in uranium mining.
Wilfred Stanley Arthur passed away December 23rd, 2000.

Promotions:
September 4th , 1939: Air Cadet;
March 3rd, 1940: Pilot Officer;
September 3rd, 1940: Flying Officer;
OCtober 1st , 1941: Flight Lieutenant;
January 1st, 1942: Acting Squadron Leader;
OCtober 1st, 1942: Squadron Leader;
June 14th, 1943: Acting Wing Commander;
August 1st, 1943 Temporary Wing Commander;
October 5th, 1944: Acting Group Captain.

Career:
?: The Scots College, Warwick;
September 4th, 1939: No. 1 Flying Training Squadron, Tamworth;
December 4th, 1939: Pilot, No. 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron, Richmond;
March 27th, 1940: Pilot, No. 3 Squadron, Richmond;
July 14th, 1940: Embarkation Sydney;
August 14th, 1941: No. 71 Operational Training Unit;
October 1941: Flight Commander No. 3 Squadron;
March 28th, 1942: No. 1 ED, Melbourne, AustraliŽ;
April 13th, 1942: Pilot No. 76 Squadron, Townsville, Nieuw Guinea;
April 23rd, 1942: Flying Instructor No. 2 Operational Training Unit
September 21st, 1942: Chief Flying Instructor No. 2 Operational Training Unit;
January 21st, 1943: Commanding Officer No. 75 Squadron;
June 14th, 1943: Commanding Officer No. 71 Wing;
November 21st, 1943: No. 1 RPP, Townsville;
November 25th, 1943: No. 3 R/Hospital, Concord;
?: Yarella Military Hospital;
April 3rd, 1944: 3 War Staff Course, RAAF Staff School, Mount Martha;
July 3rd, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 2 Operational Training Unit;
December 16th, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 81 Wing;
April 7th, 1945: Commanding Officer No. 78 Wing;
May 25th, 1945: No. 1 PD Melbourne;
February 14th, 1946: Discharge;
? Repatriation Department;
1950: Australian School of Pacific Administration;
?: Dairy Farmer, Ben Cat, Vietnam;
?: Administration Manager Geopeko.

Victories:
Dcember 12th, 1940: Fiat CR.42;
December 26th, 1940: Fiat CR.42;
December 26th, 1940: Fiat CR.42 (damaged);
April 1941: Messerschmitt Bf 110;
October/November 1941: Messerschmitt Bf 109 (probable);
October/November 1941: 5 aircraft, type unknown (damaged);
November 30th, 1941: 2 Junkers Ju 87; 1 Fiat G-50; 1 Macchi M.C.-200.
March 10th, 1943: Mitsubishi G2M "Betty" (shared);
October 31st, 1943: Mitsubishi G2M "Betty" (probable).

Aircraft flown:
1940: Gloster Gladiator;
January 1941: Hawker Hurricane;
May 1941: Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk.

Promotions:
September 4th, 1939: Air Cadet;
March 3rd, 1940: Pilot Officer;
September 3rd, 1940: Flying Officer;
October 1st, 1941: Flight Lieutenant;
January 1st, 1942: Acting Squadron Leader;
October 1st, 1942: Squadron Leader;
June 14th, 1943: Acting Wing Commander;
August 1st, 1943: Temporary Wing Commander;
October 5th, 1944: Acting Group Captain.

Career:
?: The Scots College, Warwick;
September 4th, 1939: No. 1 Flying Training Squadron, Tamworth;
December 4th, 1939: Pilot, No. 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron, Richmond;
March 27th, 1940: Pilot, No. 3 Squadron, Richmond;
July 14th, 1940: Embarkation Sydney;
August 14th, 1941: No. 71 Operational Training Unit;
October 1941: Flight Commander No. 3 Squadron;
March 28th, 1942: No. 1 ED, Melbourne, AustraliŽ;
April 13th, 1942: Pilot No. 76 Squadron, Townsville, Nieuw Guinea;
April 23rd, 1942: Flying Instructor No. 2 Operational Training Unit
September 21st, 1942: Chief Flying Instructor No. 2 Operational Training Unit;
January 21st, 1943: Commanding Officer No. 75 Squadron;
June 14th, 1943: Commanding Officer No. 71 Wing;
November 21st, 1943: No. 1 RPP, Townsville;
November 25th, 1943: No. 3 R/Hospital, Concord;
?: Yarella Military Hospital;
April 3rd, 1944: 3 War Staff Course, RAAF Staff School, Mount Martha;
July 3rd, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 2 Operational Training Unit;
December 16th, 1944: Commanding Officer No. 81 Wing;
April 7th, 1945: Commanding Officer No. 78 Wing;
May 25th, 1945: No. 1 PD Melbourne;
February 14th, 1946: Discharge;
?: Repatriation Department;
1950: Australian School of Pacific Administration;
?: Dairy Farmer, Ben Cat, Vietnam;
?: Administration Manager Geopeko.

Victories:
December 12th, 1940: Fiat CR.42;
December 26th, 1940: Fiat CR.42;
December 26th, 1940: Fiat CR.42 (damaged);
April 1941: Messerschmitt Bf 110;
October/November 1941: Messerschmitt Bf 109 (probably);
October/November 1941: 5 unknown aircraft (damaged);
November 30th, 1941: Junkers Ju 87;
November 30th, 1941: Junkers Ju 87;
November 30th, 1941: Fiat G.50;
November 30th, 1941: Macchi MC.200;
March 10th, 1943: Mitsubishi G2M "Betty" (shared);
October 31st, 1943: Mitsubishi G2M "Betty" (probably).

Own Aircraft:
1940: Gloster Gladiator;
Janbuary 1941: Hawker Hurricane;
May 1941: Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk.

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Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
March 2nd, 1940
RAAF Pilot Badge
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 2 Operational Training Unit, Royal Australian Air Force
Awarded on:
January 1st, 1942
Details:
LG 35399/48.
Mentioned in Despatches
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 3 (RAAF) Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
Awarded on:
January 20th, 1942
Action:
Citation:
"In November, 1941, this officer participated in an operational sweep over the Bir El Gobi area. A large formation of enemy aircraft was intercepted and, in the ensuing combat, Flight Lieutenant Arthur destroyed 4 of them. This officer has displayed great skill and gallantry on many occasions and he has destroyed at least 7 hostile aircraft".
Details:
LG 35425/344.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 75 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (No. 75 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force)
Awarded on:
May 25th, 1943
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Action:
Citation:
"Squadron Leader Arthur as Commanding Officer of a squadron displayed great bravery during an attack by a considerable number of Japanese aircraft. Knowing that none of his guns were firing and realising the enormous odds he was facing, Squadron Leader Arthur led his squadron into a determined head-on attack. He then made several attacks on an armed enemy dive bomber attempting to force it into the water. The gallantry, matchless leadership and devotion to duty displayed by Squadron Leader Arthur was one of the chief factors in the success of the day's air fighting."
Details:
LG 36027/2322.
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Wing Commander
Unit:
No. 71 Wing, Royal Australian Air Force (No. 71 Wing, Royal Australian Air Force)
Awarded on:
June 16th, 1944
Mentioned in Despatches
Action:
Citation:
"Wing Commander Arthur was appointed wing leader to a fighter wing consisting of four squadrons all of different types of aircraft. He spared neither effort nor persons in rapidly welding and training these squadrons for co-operative wing operations, and has since led them on six most successful fighter bomber missions. His courage, efficiency and drive have been most commendable."
Details:
LG 36566/2875.

Sources

  • Photo 1: Australian War Memorial
  • - Wikipedia
    - Australian War Memorial
    - Supplement to The London Gazette of 30th December 1941, Issue 35399, dated 1st January 1942
    - Fifth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35425 published on the 16 January 1942
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36027 published on the 21 May 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of13th June 1944, Issue 36566, dated 16th June 1944
    - Service Record