Flight Lieutenant J. W. YarraPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson

A plaque commemorates Flight Lieutenant J. W. Yarra who was killed in action during World War Two. It contains a photograph of Flight Lieutenant Yarra seated in the cockpit of his Spitfire fighter, a brief account of his active service and a small brass plaque that was originally sited on a tree in the school grounds.

Jack Yarra an ex pupil of Grafton Public School was an ace Spitfire pilot based in the Mediterranean early in World War Two. He shot down over a dozen enemy fighter planes. Following his action, he was posted to England to train younger pilots. Based in England, he was a Squadron Leader leading attacks against German flak ships off the coast of Holland. On the 10th December, 1942 Jack Yarra was shot down and his body washed ashore at Flushing - coast of Holland.

On Saturday last Mr. A. E. Yarra, of Armidale, received a letter from the Air Board confirming a previous telegram stating that his son, Flight Lieut. J. W. Yarra, D.F.M., formerly a printer's apprentice on the staff of the "Daily Examiner," was missing, believed to have lost his life in air action on December 10. The letter said the pilot had crashed into the sea two miles off the Flushing coast and was believed to have been killed, but active inquiries were being made to ascertain if there was any chance of his being alive. Mr. Yarra stated that as John was a strong, cool swimmer and of fine stamina and physique, there was a slim chance that, providing he was conscious when he struck the water, he might have been able to swim to land.

By the same post came a photograph of John in a Spitfire which bore eight swastikas and four circled threes, showing that he had shot down eight Germans and four Italians, Above them in large letters on the fuselage was his name for his friend in Grafton, Miss Doreen Brown. "Ned IV.," showing that he had named four of his planes after her. The letter stated that he and Paul Brennan, of Queensland, and another pilot had written a book, "Spitfires over Malta," which is to be published soon. 
Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW), 22 December 1942.


Address:190 Fitzroy Street, Schaeffer House Museum, Grafton, 2460
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.687734
Long: 152.928169
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:10-December-1942
Actual Event End Date:10-December-1942


Front Inscription

In Memory F/Lt J. W. Yarra DFM
Enlisted April 1940
Killed in Action 10-12-1942
Off Flushing - Coast of Holland.

Source: MA,NRWM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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