Maxted R H Des

Name   Reginald Henry Desmond (Des) Maxted   Rank: Flight Sergeant

Number RAAF 11398

Unit   75th Squadron

Place of Birth Ringwould Kent, England 13 May 1913

Next of Kin Dorothy Maxted, his wife. His parents were Reg and Nellie Maxted of Leongatha.

Date and place of enlistment

Location on enlistment   Leongatha

Occupation Garage proprietor and mechanic

Date and place of death Noemfoor 9 October 1944 aged 31

Location of grave or memorial

He is on the Lae Memorial Papua New Guinea, the Leongatha Memorial and the memorial at Leongatha Secondary College (formerly Leongatha High School).

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

He was born in Canterbury in England and came to Leongatha with his family at the age of nine. The family lived in Jeffery Street Leongatha.  Des attended Leongatha State School and Leongatha High School and on leaving school became a mechanic. His father ran a business making cabins for trucks, cars and trailers and was a notable sign writer. Des ran a garage on the corner of Bair St and Church St Leongatha, and at the time of his enlistment was recorded as being a garage proprietor.  His mother Mrs. Nellie Maxted organised with Leongatha High School that a shield in Des’ honour become the house swimming trophy. This trophy was used from 1961 until 1989. Des Maxted’s son Reg served in the army and also attended Leongatha High School.

Military History

Enlisting in the Air Force in July 1940, Des spent time at Amberley Air Force base before going to New Guinea.  In New Guinea on the island of Noemfoor. He was a popular well-liked member of the squadron’s workshop team. Des went out with a group in a small boat to collect equipment which floated out to sea in a storm. The boat capsized and Des helped others onto a raft. He was washed out to sea by a large wave and never sighted again.  His efforts enabled the other men to survive.

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