4SQN Boomerang pilot – WW2

David Inglis Murrie was born 18th October 1923 in Adelaide.  Growing up in a farming family in the Eden Valley in the Barossa, David went to Urrbrae Agricultural High School and then Roseworthy Agriculture College. Enlisting in Adelaide on 2 January 1943, David joined the RAAF and completed pilot training during 1943.

In early 1944, he went to the School of Army Cooperation in Canberra, which was attended by both RAAF and Army trainees.  Here both services trained in air liaison roles including reconnaissance, direct support and cooperation, supply dropping, and photography.  Exercises were undertaken with cadets at Duntroon and in live artillery firing exercises.

David Murrie (3rd from left) with 4SQN ground crew and RAAF 4SQN Boomerang ‘On the Job’ A46-191 at Nadzab, New Guinea, in October 1944. (AWM)

David joined No 4 Squadron on 27 March 1944 after the Squadron just moved from Pt Moresby to Nadzab.  A detachment was sent to Cape Gloucester on New Britain and David conducted missions from both locations. The missions were tactical in nature including reconnaissance, directing air and artillery strikes, message dropping, strafing enemy positions and search missions. While the Boomerang lacked performance to be an effective fighter aircraft, it proved particularly adept in close air support where its maneuverability proved valuable. The flying, nonetheless, was dangerous operating at low level often in mountainous terrain under threat of enemy fire.

David completed his operational tour with 4 SQN on 19 December 1944 and was posted to an Aircraft Repair and Salvage Depot before being demobilized in March 1945 with the rank of Flying Officer completing his military service in World War 2.

He took up farming for about ten years before he returned to Papua New Guinea in the late

FLGOFF David Murrie (right) with fellow 4SQN pilot Phillip Simpson in March 1944 in new Guinea.(AWM)

1950’s as an agricultural advisor for about ten years.  David then returned to Adelaide where he joined the Department of Agriculture. Some years after retirement, David moved to Ardrossan.

David had two brothers.  His twin, Bruce Inglis Murrie, joined the Navy and survived the war.  Glen Inglis Murrie, his older brother of one year, joined the RAAF and was killed in action flying Boston’s with 22SQN in New Guinea on 23 Sep 1944.

David Inglis Murrie passed away on 6 September 2021.

Lest we forget.


Greg Weller
Vice President
Air Force Association (SA)