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Livingstone Airfield, Northern Territory (Daniel J. Leahy, 2012)
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Service:Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number:385
Rank:Wing Commander
Date of Birth:2 May 1917
Place of Birth:Portland, Victoria, Australia
Date of Death:6 January 1944 (Aged 26 years)
Decorations:Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar
Units:No. 14 Squadron, RAAF †
No. 22 Squadron, RAAF
No. 1 Operational Training Unit, RAAF
No. 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF

AWM: P03614.002

Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
1939-45 StarPacific Star1939-45 War MedalAustralian Service Medal 1939-45


19 July 1938Enlisted with the Royal Australian Air Force.
Air Cadet on Enlistment.
Posted to No. 1 Flying Training School, RAAF.
22 June 1939Promoted to Pilot Officer.
25 October 1939Posted to No. 14 Squadron, RAAF.
22 December 1939Promoted to Flying Officer.
1 January 1941Promoted to Flight Lieutenant.
20 December 1941Posted to No. 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF.
5 January 1942Posted to the Operational Training Unit, RAAF.
1 April 1942Promoted to Squadron Leader.
22 April 1942Posted to No. 22 Squadron, RAAF.
1 August 1943Promoted to Wing Commander.
22 October 1943Posted to No. 5 Embarkation Depot, RAAF.
30 November 1943Posted to No. 14 Squadron, RAAF.


Distinguished Flying Cross:
Squadron Leader LEARMONTH was posted to No. 22 (Intruder) Squadron on the 22nd April, 1942, and has been the flight leader of all strikes carried out by "A" Flight of the Squadron. He has taken part in one hundred and thirtysix sorties and under his leadership his flight has reached every allotted target successfully, bombing and straffing from vulnerable heights of 1,000 feet to almost ground level.
He was the leader of a formation which bombed and sank a "Hubiki" class destroyer during the battle of the Bismark Sea on the 3rd March, 1943. His efficiency and speed in getting his flight in the air and the determined manner in which he initiated the attack resulted in two direct hits on the destroyer.
Squadron Leader LEARMONTH has been the leader of many strikes against enemy lines of communication between Salamaua and Wau and has also led flights on bombing and straffing attacks against Komiatum, Mubo, Garrison Hill, Mat Mat Hill, Guadagasal, Saddle and Waipali often descending to as low as 400 feet to make sure of hitting his target.
On one occasion during an attack on Buna, his aircraft was badly hit. Althought the starboard aileron controls were shot away, much of the fabric blown off the elevators and the fuselage riddled with holes, he brought his aircraft back to a safe landing at his base by the exercise of great skill and coolness.
Throughout his entire operational career, Squadron Leader LEARMONTH has set an example of courage, determination, leadership and devotion to duty which would be difficult to equal.

Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross:
Since being posted to No. 22 (Int.) Squadron in April, 1942, Squadron Leader LEARMONTH has given outstanding and distinguished service. He has completed 159 sorties, 49 of which have resulted in strikes against advanced enemy positions.
After having temporarily commanded this Squadron for several short periods, he was appointed to its command on the 21st June, 1943.
He has led his Squadron in many successful attacks on Salamaua, Komiatium Ridge, the Pimple and more recently at Gasmata. He has displayed tactical ability amounting to genius, and this faculty, together with his thoroughness, determination and coolness has been largely responsible for the destruction of the objectives assigned to his Squadron.
He has proved himself to be an exceptionally capable Squadron Commander, the whole of whose operational service has been distinguished by devotion to duty of the highest order.

Burial Details

Panel:Panel 5.

External Links

World War 2 Nominal Roll
The London Gazette - Distinguished Flying Cross Announcement (10 August 1943)
The London Gazette - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross Announcement (28 July 1944)


National Archives of Australia [NAA] 1948, LEARMONTH CHARLES CUTHBERTSON : Service Number - 385 : Date of birth - 02 May 1917 : Place of birth - PORTLAND VIC : Place of enlistment - POINT COOK VIC : Next of Kin - LEARMONTH MARJORIE, A9300, LEARMONTH C C.

Record updated on 4 July 2018.


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