Monday, 15 June 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


It is with great sadness that I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Ross Pearson OAM, who passed away on Saturday, 13 June 2015, at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney.

A proud veteran and leader within the Bomber Command veteran community, Ross Pearson was an active member of the RSL, the Bomber Command Association and the Bomber Command Annual Commemorative Day Foundation, the Royal United Services Institute, the RAAF Association, the Halifax Association and the 466/462 Squadron Association.

Ross Pearson enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force in October 1942 at the age of 19; he was serving at the time as a member of the Australian Army, having been called up for full-time duty in May 1942.

After training in Australia he was posted to the United Kingdom, where he served as a Wireless Operator Air Gunner with No. 102 Squadron, Royal Air Force, at RAF Pocklington in Yorkshire.

Ross flew 34 operations with No. 102 Squadron. One of Ross’s strongest, but saddest, memories of his time in Bomber Command was the night his radio was tuned to that of the Master Bomber; whose aircraft was hit by flak. Ross found himself listening to the transmissions from the doomed aircraft until it crashed, killing all aboard.

Ross was discharged in Australia with the rank of Flying Officer in September 1945. After the war he qualified as a lawyer and married, and worked for the ABC for a number of years as a legal advocate. He rose to the position of Federal Controller Personnel and Establishment.

In 2006 Ross was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through museum and historical societies, and through sporting, ex-service, nature conservation and children's organisations.

An active member of the Bomber Command community, his absence due to ill-health at the time of the recent Bomber Command commemorations at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was felt by all. On behalf of the Government I extend our deepest condolences to the Pearson family.

Media enquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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