75248 Corporal Patrick Gervase Scroope
4th Mobile Works Unit &
6th Airfield Construction Squadron
Royal Australian Air Force
Papua New Guinea/Pacific Theatre
World War II

This file last updated 12 June, 2022 15:11

Introduction

75248 Corporal Patrick Gervase Scroope



On enlistment to the Citizen Air Force
on 14 Apr 1942

Patrick Gervase Scroope was born 25 Jul 1912 in SWAN BAY, NSW, the eldest son of Charles Frederick Scroope and Annie Malone. A devout Catholic, he attended church every day he was able. He died 31 Jul 2005, aged 93 and, never having married, was interred at the WARDELL, NSW cemetery. A picture of his tombstone is reproduced below.

Anecdotally he first applied to join the Army as a mechanic tradesman, but there were no vacancies at that time, so he applied for entry into the Royal Australian Air Force (Citizens Force) as a tradesman in 1942. In that RAAF document under "Previous Military Service he notes that he was "NS trainee (not allocated to a unit)" which bears out his frustrated attempt to join the Army. [I have been unable to identify meaning of the abbreviation]

Accepted by the RAAF - subject to successfully completing a trade test - there was an initial mixup due to lost mail, which, having been sorted out, he was enlisted into the Citizens Air Force on 14 Apr 1942. As Papua New Guinea is at this time an Australian protectorate and Borneo a British one, there is no bar to him serving in those areas.

He provides four referee's letters: Dentist J.J. Ryan; his employer, who was by then Cpl H. Galloway RAAF, who endorses him both as a tradesman and foreman of his shop; former employer, Cecil C. Green; and J.D. Gray, the owner of Gray's Garage in CASINO.

His application to join the RAAF notes that he has a "Primary school education", which was not unusual for the time and it proves to be no barrier to his enlistment and promotion in the Air Force.

He then undergoes further training as a Fitter, Diesel Motor Transport (DMT) and a further conversion course which is presumably for heavy machinery as his previous training was for civilian cars and light trucks.

Due to the fact that the Mobile Works Units/Squadrons and Aircraft Construction Squadrons appear to have been deployed in piecemeal rather than as complete units, and there is no definitive statement of those deployments, I am unable to determine precisely either the length or location of Patrick's overseas service. We know that his deployments commenced with PORT MORESBY and later included MILNE BAY's three airfields.

The best reckoning is that deployment to the PAPUA NEW GUINEA/BOUGAINVILLE theatre of war and its environs commenced in late 1942 and continued until mid-1944 when the war against Japan has moved much further north and is being prosecuted mainly by the United States.

These units were deployed in the creation and/or repair of airfields under active attack in the NEW GUINEA and other theatres, to the extent that the RAAF members of these units were trained in Infantry minor tactics weapon handing etc. They served in places including the then NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES, PORT MORESBY, MILNE BAY, GOODENOUGH ISLAND, LAE, NADZAB, MOROTAI, BALIKPAPAN, PHILLIPINES, BORNEO and so on.

Anecdotally Patrick did a lot of work with the US Air Force, recovering engines from crashed planes, and while they apparently worked, "They ran pretty rough!"

As an older tradesman, Patrick was quickly promoted to Leading Aircraftsman (LAC, equivalent to Army Lance Corporal), and then to Corporal. His behaviour was exemplary, with his character noted as "Very Good" and there are no entries in his record for charges or misdemeanors.

Much of Australia's involvement having ceased and having returned to Australia, he applies for discharge on 14 Sep 1944, as he had purchased his own farm in the RICHMOND RIVER area and was relying on his (unnamed) brother to "look after his interests". This is approved and he is discharged on 26 Nov 1944. Prewar he had trained as a motor mechanic and had worked at the trade for 7 years before spending two years as a farmer. We can confidently assume that in these two years he had been working with one of his brothers.

Service Record and Further Information

The RAAF personal record is a very large printed sheet divided into 29 parts where events of each nature are listed chronologically. I have transcribed this in a manner which records in sequence the number and nature of each part of the sheet, together with the entries recorded on it.

Where a form is represented, the responses are in bold and the questions in normal weight font on the basis that the answers are what readers are seeking. [My comments are square bracketed.]

This military biography was prepared for the Scroope family by Clive Mitchell-Taylor, May 2022. The Australian Scroopes are descended from the Scropes (originally Le Scrope) of Ireland.

Patrick Scroope's Service Record is quite a large file and I have therefore divided the documents into Part 1 and Part 2. They contain all of the documents pertaining to his service, although as noted above, no details of his location outside Australia are recorded and many of the forms are blank, with no entries.

For those seeking further information about the RAAF Mobile Works Units, Works Maintenance Units.Squadrons which in December 1942 were redesignated Airfield Construction Squadrons, I recommend "Always First: The RAAF airfield construction squadrons 1941-1974". Wilson, David. Air Power Studies Centre, 1998. Again, unfortunately there is little detail on the actual deployments of the units and even searches of sites dedicated to the units are unable to provide that information.


Enlistment Details
Attestation Form Dated 18 Feb 1942

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE

CITIZEN AIR FORCE

PERMANENT FORCES


Attestation of No. 75248 Name SCROOPE Patrick Gervase
Joined at No 3 Recruiting Centre, Brisbane
14 Apr 1942


Questions to be put to the Recruit before enlistment

1.

What is your name?

1.

Patrick Gervase Scroope

2.

Where were you born?

2.

In or near the town of__________Swan Bay__________
in the state of_______________N.S.W___________

3.

Are you a British Subject or Naturalized British subect of pure European descent? (N.B.— If the latter, papers are to be shown.)

3.

British subject

4.

What is your age and date of birth?

4.

29 yrs. 8 months     (born 25 Jul 1912)

5.

what is your Trade or Calling?

5.

Farmer

6.

Are you, or have you been, an Apprentice? If so, where, to whom, and for what period?

6.

No

7.

Are you married?

7.

No

8.

Have you ever been convicted by the Civil Power

8.

No

9.

Have you ever been dischard from any part of His Majesty's Forces with Ignominy, or for Misconduct or as Incorrible and Worthless, or on account of Conviction of Felony, or on a sentence of Penal Servitude, or have you been Dismissed with Disgrace from any of His Majesty's Naval Forces? (You are warned that you are liable to heavy punishment if you make a false answer to this question.)

9.

No

10.

Do you now belong to any of His Majesty's Naval, Military or Air Forces?

10.

No

11.

Have you ever served in any of His Majesty's Naval, Military or Air Forces? If so, state which, and the cause of your Discharge or Dismissal, or other termination of service/

11.

N.S.T. Not allotted any unit
[Abbreviation not yet identified]

12.

Have you ever been rejected as unfit for His Maajesty's Service? If so, on what grounds?

12.

No

13.

Are you willing to be enlisted under the conditions stated in the Regulations for the Air Force of the Commonwealth of Australia?

13.

Yes


DECLARATION.


I, _________________________Patrick Gervase Scroope ___________________do solemnly declare that the
above answers made by me to the above questions are true amd that I am willing to fulfil the engagements made.
Signature of Recruit____________________P.G.SCroope_____________________

OATH TO BE TAKEN BY RECRUIT ON ATTESTATION.


      
I swear I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lord the King in the Air Force of the Commonwealth of Australia for the term of
* ten years * the duration of the war and twelve months thereafter, or until sooner lawfully discharged, dismissed or removed; and that I will resist His Majesty's enemies and cause His Majesty's peace to be kept and maintained; and that I will in all matters appertaining to my service, faithfully discharge my duty, according to law.

SO HELP ME, GOD

(A recruit who objects to take an oath may "affirm", see Air Force Regulations)

* strike out whichever is inapplicable


CERTIFICATE OF ATTESTING OFFICER.


The questions were then read to the recruit in my presence.

I have taken care that he understands each question, and that his answer to each question has been duly entered as replied to by him.

I have examined his Naturalization Papers and am of the opinion they are correct. (In the case of a British Subject, this is to be struck out.)

The said recruit has made and signed the Declaration and taken the Oath at       BRISBANE      in the State of      QUEENSLAND     , this      Fourteenth     day of      April      1942      before me.

Signature                              C P Inness P/O      
     (A Justice of the Peace or Attesting Officer)     


Description of _____________________________ Patrick Gervase SCROOPE ________________________________on Enlistment.

Age __________29 _________ years __________ 6 ___________ months.

WOUNDS, SCARS OR DISTINCTIVE MARKS

Height __________5___________ feet ____________________ inches.

[166.4cm][No entries]

Weight_______________ 132_________________lb. [9 Stone 6 lbs]

[60Kg]

Chest measurement ______________ 34½ — 37½____________ inches.

[87.6 — 95.25 cm]

Complexion____________________Fair___________________________

Eyes____________________________Blue ________________________

Hair ________________________Light Brown_______________________

Religious Denomination _____________ Roman Catholic _____________


 

CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL EXAMINATION.


I HAVE examined the abovenamed recruit and find that he does not present any of the following conditions, viz :—

          Scrofula ; Phthisis ; syphilis ; impaired constgitution ; defective intelligence ; defects of vision, voice or hearing ; hernia ; haemorrhoids ; varicose veins, beyond a limited extent ; marked variccocele with unusually pendant testicle ; in veterate cutanelus disease ; chronic ulcers ; traces of corporal punishment ; contracted or deformed chest ; abnormal curvature of spine ; or any other disease or physical defect calculated to unfit him for the duties of a soldier.

          He can see the required distance with either eye ; his heart and lungs are healthy ; he has the free use of his joints and limbs ; and hedeclares he is not subject to fits of any description.

          I consider him fit for service in the Permanent Air Force of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Date______________________[No entry]______________________

Place_____________________[No entry]______________________

___________[No entry]_________________

     (Signature of Examining Medical Doctor)


CERTIFICATE OF APPROVING OFFICER.


I CERTIFY that this attestation of the abovenamed recruit is correct, and that the required froms appear to have complied with. I accordingly approve, and appoint him to

           No 2 R.D. Maryborough           

If enlisted by special authority, number and date to be here quoted                                                               

Date                                14 Apr 1942                              

Place                                No 3 Recruiting Centre, Brisbane                              

                     CP Innes P/O                for
          SQUADRON LEADER
          NO 3 RECRUITING CENTRE, BRISBANE


PERSONAL RECORD OF SERVICE — AIRMEN

1.   PERMANENT FORCE
2.   CITIZEN FORCE        


SERIAL

ITEM

ENTRIES

3.

NO.

75248

4.

SURNAME

SCROOPE

5.

CHRISTIAN NAMES

Patrick Gervase

6.

No.      [This serial duplicated on original form]

75248

7.

DATE OF BIRTH

25 Jul 1912

8.

SINGLE
MARRIED
WIDOWER
DIVORCED

SINGLE

9.

NEXT OF KIN

Charles Frederick Scroope
Father
Wardell,Richmond River, NSW

10.

PERSON TO BE INFORMED OF CASUALTIES

Next of Kin

11.

RELIGION

R.C.

12.

NATIONALITY

British

13.

PREVIOUS TRADE & TRADE QUALIFICATIONS

Farmer

14.

ENLISTMENTS & RE-ENGAGEMENTS

Enlisted at NO. 3 REC CEN for duration of the war and a period of 12 months after on 14 Apr 1942
Age in years 29.          Authority POR 104/42

RE-ENGAGED for             years on     
RE-ENGAGED for             years on     
RE-ENGAGED for             years on     

15.

PREVIOUS NAVAL, MILITARY OR AIR SERVICE

Unit

From

To

Rank on Discharge

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

16.

DECORATIONS, MEDALS, MENTIONS & BADGES

Decorations, etc

Authority

1939 Star Ribbon [Entitled to medal]
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939/45
Australian Service Medal 1939/45

4 WMU 22/44
ABOR[?] 101/46

[Instituted post-war]

17.

MUSTERINGS

Mustering

Date

Class'n for Pay

Authority

On enlistment Trainee Group V
Re-mustered to Fitter D.M.T.

14 Apr 1942
19 Jul 1942

V
I

POR 104/42
3 STT 140/42

18.

PROMOTIONS, RECLASSIFICATIONS, REDUCTIONS AND REVERSIONS

Description

Date

Authority

A.C. 1 ON ENLISTMENT
LAC
A/Cpl (Paid)
T/Cpl

14 Apr 1942
25 Jan 1943
1 Apr 1943
1 Aug 1943

POR 114/42
4-WMU [POR] 4/443
4 WMU [POR] 15/43
4 WMU [POR] 38/43

19.

SPECIAL QUALIFICATIONS

NIL

20.

POSTINGS

Posted to

Date

Authority

3 RD
No 3 S&T ULTIMO
No 3 ED SANDGATE
OB [?] Townsville R[P]P
4 WMU
6 A.C.S.
2 PD (For Discharge)

14 Apr 1942
31 May 1942
4 Oct 1942
20 Oct 1942
31 Oct 1942
30 Jun 1944
20 Nov 1944

3 RC POR 104/42
3 S&T 80/42
3 ED 95/44
OB T'ville 12/42
4 WMU 25/42
6 MWS 21/44 2 PD 984/44

21.

ATTACHMENTS

Attached

From

To

Authority

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

22.

MOVEMENTS AND MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.

Discharged from R.A.A.F. under AFR115(T) to Reserve
Occupation W.E.F. 26 Nov 1944 [POR] 2PD 989/44

23.

CHARACTER AND TRADE PROFICIENCY.

Rank

Character

Trade Classification

Proficiency

Date

A

B

C

A.C. 1

Cpl

V.G.

V.G.

Fitter D.M.T.

Fitter D.M.T.

Sat.

Supr.



Supr.



Supr.

31 Dec 1942

31 Dec 1943

24.

COURSES OF INSTRUCTION.

Type of Course

From

To

Result

Authority

No 63 Trainee Group II Fitter Course

No 12 Fitter D.M.T. Conv[ersion]Course

1 Jun 1942

23 Jul 1942

24 Jul 1942

18 Sep 1942

Pass

Pass

3 S.T.T. 127/42

3 S.T.T. 190/42

25.

EXAMINATIONS PASSED FOR PROMOTION.

Rank Passed For

Subject

Date

Remarks

Authority

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

26.

PAY AND ALLOWANCES.

To draw allowances (4/6 p.d.)
Ceases to draw above on and from 24 Sep 1942

27.

DEPENDANTS

Name in Full

Relationship

Date of Birth

Authority

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

28.

CASUALTIES, ADMISSIONS TO AND DISCHARGES FROM HOSPITAL

Nature of Casualty/Disability

Hospital

From

To

Authority

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

29.

CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

Act or Regulation

Award or Sentence

Location

Date

Authority

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]

[No entry]


4th Mobile Works Unit/Squadron (later) 6th Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF

Equipment of No 6 Mobile Works Works Squadron (Later No 6 Airfield Construction Squadron) at KIRIWANA, PAPUA in Sep 1943

All Mobile Work Squadrons and Works Maintenance Units were renamed Airfield Construction Squadrons on 15 Jul 1944.

Detailed deployments are unavailable, other than to note that it was not uncommon for various sub-units to be deployed at different locations. Most deployments were strongly contested by Japanese aircraft, at least in the initial stages of construction.

4 WMU arrived PORT MORESBY 25 Jul 1942, while the HQ remained in TOWNSVILLE until February.

Part of the unit relocated to NADZAB in MOROBE PROVINCE commencing 3 Aug 1943.

A detachment worked on GOODENOUGH ISLAND from May 1943.

Headquarters was established at JOHN's GULLY and was re-established on GOODENOUGH ISLAND 23 Nov 1943 remaining there until Sep 1944.


 

Citizens Military Forces (CMF) Lapel Badge

CMF Badge

The Citizens Military Force badge was issued to those who were entitled from the latter part of World War 2 when members of the CMF, particularly the 11th Brigade were fighting on the Kokoda Trail [The place name gazetted by the Papua New Guinea Government], other locations in Papua New Guinea, Bougainville and the Pacific Island.


1939-1945 Star

1929-1945 Star

The 1939-45 Star is awarded for service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 for:

  • a period of six months (180 days) operational service for RAN and Army personnel and RAAF non-air crew personnel;
  • a period of two months operational service for air crew personnel; and/or
  • a period of six months service at sea for Merchant Navy provided at least one voyage was made through one of the specified areas of active operations;

The 1939-45 Star is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel. See required evidence to support a claim.

Design

The six‐dash;pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words "The 1939-45 Star".

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has three vertical stripes of dark blue, red and light blue. The dark blue stripe represents the Naval Forces and the Merchant Navy, the red stripe the Armies and the light blue stripe the Air Forces.

Clasps

The "BATTLE OF BRITAIN" clasp was awarded to eligible air crew involved in the Battle of Britain.

The "BOMBER COMMAND" clasp was introduced in 2012 and is awarded to eligible Bomber Command aircrew.

When the ribbon is worn alone the standard silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp. The silver rosette emblem is not supplied by the Directorate of Honours and Awards.


 

Pacific Star

The Pacific Star is awarded for entry into operational service in the Pacific Theatre of Operations between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.

Navy and Merchant Navy personnel are eligible if the 1939-45 Star is earned by six months service or if they entered the Pacific Theatre between 2 March 1945 and 2 September 1945.

The Pacific Star is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel. See required evidence to support a claim.

Design

The six–pointed star is yellow copper zinc alloy. The obverse has a central design of the Royal and Imperial cypher, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the words 'The Pacific Star'.

Stars issued to Australian personnel have recipient names engraved on the plain reverse.

Ribbon

The ribbon has central yellow and green stripes that represent the forests and the beaches of the Pacific, flanked dark blue, light blue and red stripes that represent the service of the Naval Forces and Merchant Navy, the Air Forces and the Armies.

Clasp

The Burma clasp was issued for the Pacific Star.

When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote the award of a clasp.


War Medal 1939-1945

[Extract from Defence Honours and Awards website -Imperial Awards

The medal is cupro-nickel with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse.

The reverse has a lion standing on a double-headed dragon. The top of the reverse shows the dates 1939 and 1945.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a suspender. The ribbon colours of red, white and blue represent the colours of the Union Flag.

The War Medal 1939-45 was awarded for 28 days full-time service in the Armed Forces between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Operational and non-operational service may be counted, providing that it was of 28 days or more duration.

In the Merchant Navy there is a requirement that the 28 days should have been served at sea.

A member qualifies for the award where service was brought to an end by death, wounds or other disabilities due to service or by cessation of hostilities on 2 September 1945.

The War Medal 1939-45 is awarded to Australian Civilian Personnel who served afloat with the United States Army Small Ships Section between 8 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. Eligibility is the same as that for Merchant Navy personnel.


Australia Service Medal 1939-1945

Australia Service Medal 1939-1945

The Australia Service Medal 1939-1945 was instituted in 1949 to recognise the service of members of the Australian Armed Forces and the Australian Mercantile Marine during World War II.

The medal was originally awarded to those who served at home or overseas for at least 18 months full-time service, or three years part-time service, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. Members of the Australian Mercantile Marine must have served the qualifying time at sea.

In 1996 the qualifying time was reduced to 30 days full-time or 90 days part-time service. To be eligible for the medal a serviceman or woman must have been honourably discharged from the Australian Armed Forces.

Design

The medal is nickel silver with the crowned effigy of King George VI on the obverse. The reverse has the Australian coat of arms, placed centrally, surrounded by the words ‘THE AUSTRALIA SERVICE MEDAL 1939-1945’.

Ribbon

The ribbon has a wide khaki central stripe, flanked by two narrow red stripes, which are in turn flanked by two outer stripes, one of dark blue and the other of light blue. The khaki represents the Australian Army, and the red, dark blue and light blue represent the Merchant Navy, Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force respectively.

Attribution

The above information is from the Defence Honours site at http://www.defence.gov.au/Medals/Imperial/WWII/Australia-Service-Medal-1939-1945.asp, taken on 19 Jun 2019.