McDonald Hector

Name   Hector Murdoch McDonald   Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Number   RAAF 120571

Unit  HQ (DPS-P6)

Place of Birth Meeniyan 16 May 1902

Next of Kin His wife Rosemond was his NOK.

Son of John Alexander and Marion McDonald of Meeniyan and husband of Rosamond Janet McDonald, of Hawthorn. Father of Graeme.

Date and place of enlistment 9 November 1942 in Melbourne

Location on enlistment   Melbourne

Occupation farmer then later worked for Jack McEwan MP

Date and place of death 7 April 1946 aged 43 in Jakarta Indonesia

Location of grave or memorial

He is buried in the Jakarta War Cemetery and has his name on Leongatha Memorial, the Meeniyan Cenotaph and on the memorial at Leongatha Secondary College (formerly Leongatha High School).

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

He and his family were from Meeniyan.

Hector was born in Meeniyan and attended Meeniyan State School, Shepparton High School and Leongatha High School.  A tall boy, he attended Leongatha High School during the Great War and was in the football team.  He, together with his brother Mr. N A McDonald, farmed in the Meeniyan area and while there took great interest in public and social functions. Hector was secretary of the local branch of the Country Party (now the Nationals) and was always a strong campaigner and speaker. For some time. Hector was secretary to Mr. John McEwan who at the time was the Federal Minister for the Air.

Military History

He joined the Air Force in November 1942 and served in many places in Australia before being sent to Java Indonesia as a member of the First Australian War Crimes Investigation Unit. Hector and Captain Alister McKenzie were unfortunately shot dead in an ambush. The party was travelling back from making routine inquiries about Japanese war crimes at Pondok Gedeh jail. They were attacked by a group of Indonesian freedom fighters who probably mistook them for Dutchmen. The Dutch had just landed in Java in an attempt to return Indonesia to Dutch rule. Sukarno had declared Indonesia to be an independent nation when WWII ended. Hector was 6 feet 5 inches tall, had a bull voice and was the idol of his men. He is buried in the beautiful Jakarta War Cemetery, Indonesia.

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