John Geoffrey Norman Gadsden (418828)Pilot Officer

    P/O John Gadsden (418828) was born at Toorak Vic. on April 28, 1924 and enlisted in the RAAF on June 19, 1942, after his EFTS and SFTS training was posted to 2OTU on May 9 1943, then he was on posted to 78 Squadron flying Kittyhawks in New Guinea, from September 1, 1943 to August 5, 1944.

    Gadsden was killed in a flying accident on October 25, 1944. After six weeks tropical leave he was posted back to Mildura for a refresher course with his 78 squadron comrade F/Sgt Blue O’Connell and on his third flight at Mildura with O’Connell, their Wirraway A20-613 crashed near Wentworth on October 25, 1944.

    The report stated:

    “During Aerobatics and spins, the aircraft went into a spin and crashed. The aircraft was seen by another pilot at a distance of three miles, completing the last two or three turns of a spin and then striking the ground.”

    Both Gadsden and O’Connell were buried at Mildura War Cemetery and their names appear on the new memorial there.