Pacific Star : Flying Officer W P Callinan, Royal Australian Air Force

Places
Accession Number REL37849.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1946
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Description

Pacific Star. Unnamed as issued.

History / Summary

William Peter Callinan was born at Inverell, NSW, in February 1902. Before the Second World War he worked as an office administrator at Messrs Halpin and Son, and at Robert Reid and Co. in Brisbane. He also served in the militia in the 1920s. Callinan enlisted for service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on 4 July 1940 and was mustered as a clerk. His organisational skills were soon recognised and by March 1942 he had been promoted to sergeant. Until the end of 1942 he worked mainly at the Creek Street RAAF Recruiting Centre in Brisbane. In January 1943 Callinan was commissioned as a flying officer, initially undertaking administrative and special duties before training with the RAAF Meteorological Division. He was subsequently posted to New Guinea, serving at Milne Bay and Goodenough Island. Tropical illnesses, first experienced in 1943, forced his return to Australia at the beginning of 1945. Callinan refused the offer of an early discharge, continuing to work in Brisbane as adjutant of an aircraft maintenance wing, but his appointment was terminated on medical grounds on 15 September 1945. He died in 1975. His eldest son, James Kevin Callinan, served as a despatch rider with 9 Division Signals.