WILLIAM GEORGE PEARCE
Bill was one of a family of eight and grew up in the Carina area of Brisbane. He attended several schools and completed scholarship at Manly State School. He enjoyed Rugby League and Cricket, being captain of a Carina team in Warehouse Cricket.
He was employed by KR Darling Downs initially as an office boy, but enlisted in the RAAF in 1942.
He progressed through ITS at Kingaroy, Wireless Op. at Maryborough, and Air Gunner at Evans Head. Posted to the UK, he did SFTS on Wellingtons, then Halifax, then Lancasters at Waltham Lincs.
With 100 squadron he completed 12 operations, and was then transferred to 156(PFF) squadron as a Warrant Officer, and stationed at Upwood in Huntingdonshire. On his 29th Pathfinder operation over the Ruhr, his aircraft was shot down by a “Schrage Musik” equipped Bf 110 nightfighter, and he survived to become a POW for some three months, until freed by advancing American troops.
Returned to the UK, he married Marjorie in Gloucester in 1945. He was repatriated to Australia in 1945, but she was not able to join him until 1946. In 2008 he was able to travel to Germany and meet Walter Telsnig, one of the crew who had shot his Lancaster down.
He rejoined KR Darling Downs, and rose through the company to retire having held several management posts. He enjoyed boating and fishing, and was a member of a number of ex-service organisations. He was the vice-president of the Pathfinder Force Assoc. and joined QAM in 1988 as their delegate.
He was a competent cabinetmaker and built display cabinets located in the Pathfinder area.