"BELVEDERE", 38 STOKES STREET, TOWNSVILLE
USED AS ACCOMMODATION FOR PILOTS
OF THE 8TH PHOTO RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON

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visits since 17 June 2001

 

Several pilots from the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron of the 5th Air Force lived in an old house called "Belvedere" that was commandeered by the military authorities at 38 Stokes Street in Townsville. At that stage, the 8th Photo Recon Squadron was attached to the 19th Bomb Group. They were attached to the 6th Photo Reconnaissance Group in about late 1943 after they had arrived in New Guinea. The house was originally built in 1888.

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"Belvedere", 38 Stokes Street, Townsville

Several years before 2001, the current owners of 38 Stokes Street, Ralph and June Power, located two dog tags in their back garden. They had been exposed after a very long wet season. They also found two beautifully crafted pipes that look similar to the ones smoked by General Douglas MacArthur and a cigarette lighter.

AMERICAN DOG TAG

" Edward L. Merrigan 20249551 T41 Mrs L. Merrigan, 155 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY. (O P)

 

AUSTRALIAN DOG TAG

"57057, Maguire, TDP, RAAF, RC"

Maguire's dog tag

Kevin Curreri found the following information for me on the above person:-

Leading Aircraftman Thomas David Vincent Maguire (57057), Royal Australian Air Force, born 24 March 1924, born Warrnambool, Victoria. He enlisted on 5 June 1942 at Bentleigh, Melbourne, Victoria. His next of kin was William Maguire. He was discharged at 5 Central Recovery Depot on 5 April 1946.

 

Can anyone help me with more information on these two people?

 

Jim McEwan (#20249548) of the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron told me that Eddy Merrigan was with the 102nd Observation Squadron and he was shipped over to the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron with 48 personnel from New York. Jim was one of those 48 personnel. 

Jim and Ed were both at Marrow Field in California in January 1942. Jim met up with Ed again in Port Moresby just prior to Ed going on his first mission as a gunner. Ed asked what he should do on his first mission. Jim gave him some advice, but a week or so later Jim was told that Ed had been killed on his first mission.

Jim McEwan has tried to research Ed's military history through the Personnel Research Center. He found they had his date of enlistment incorrect. Ed was called into Federal service with the New York National Guard on 15 October 1940 at Miller Field, Staten Island, New York. He moved to March Field in California with a group that formed the 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron.

 

Jim McEwan is very interested to contact relatives of Ed Merrigan

Can you help Jim?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I'd like to thank Kevin Parkes, Jim McEwan and Kevin Curreri for their assistance with this home page.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 17 June 2001

This page last updated 04 June 2004