Burgess, Kerry “Burge”

Kerry was a Leading Aircraftman with the 110 Mobile Fighter Command Unit (MFCU)

Burge was born on the 20th February 1925 in Paddington, New South Wales. He enlisted on the 4th May 1943 and served in Darwin, Morotai and Balikpapan. the 110 MFCU was the Support Unit of No. 1 Spitfire Fighter Wing, Darwin, and the Support Unit of No. 80 Spitfire Fighter Wing, Morotai and Balikpapan.

The Unit was known as 110 MFCU Assault Echelon for the landing at Balikpapan on the 1st July 1945 with the 7th Division AIF. Burgess Kerry pic2

Quite a few of the men had their heads shaved when they first arrived in Darwin to beat the heat. When one had just been shorn, the “thing” was to say to them, “The adjutant was looking for you, I believe you have been posted south.” That always caused a reaction. The photo is of the “skinheads” getting ready for Moratai’s tropical climate. Kerry is standing, second left, and Peter Nugent is kneeling, on the right. 

As Ray Hart tells it, “Burge, along with his tent mates, Eddy Jenkins and Kevin “Obie” O’Brien, were great builders, and as it was four to a tent in Darwin and they had just moved to a new tent site built for the wet season, they asked me, “Boss” Hart, to join them. Oh, what an experience.” When we arrived in Morotai, it was three to a tent, so I moved out. At Balikpapan, it was four to a tent, so I was invited back in with them.” 

“They decided to build an air-raid shelter. It was perfect. It was underground with a great sheet of steel over the top. The sides were timber, as was the roof, and they had a seat down the centre. It was a magnificent structure. “Nugget” Nugent had a look at it and said, “I will be the first into that.” At which Burge replied, “We (meaning Obie, Eddy, Boss and Himself) all go in together after I fire a burst in from the tommy gun.” We never had any outsiders using our shelter. The boys also built the shower staging, down at the creek at Morotai.” 

The photo is of the 110 Mobile Fighter Command Unit “patch.” Burgess Kerry pic1

Burge was discharged on the 1st April 1946.

Ray Hart and Paul Carter
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association