Nugget was born on the 15th April 1928 in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. He was a farmer at Yea in Victoria when he enlisted on the 19th April 1943. After training, he served with the 110 MFCU (Mobile Fighter Command Unit) Darwin, Morotai and Balikpapan. 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 photo shows nine members of 110 MFCU on Morotai early 1945. Jim “McGinty” McNeill back row second from right, Ray “Boss” Hart, back row third from right, Cedric Askew, front row first on left and Nugget, front row, far right.
According to one of his mates, Nugget was always aggressive. On a beer night in Darwin, for some unknown reason he punched McGinty (Sergeant Jim McNeill) in the nose. McGinty was a great sport and handled the situation himself by telling Nugget the next day, “I don’t know how you reached my nose. Did you stand on a box? Anyway, next time you have a go, hit from the other side and maybe that will straighten it.” Incidentally, McGinty was over six feet tall and Nugget was short, thus the remark about the box. When you come to think of it, the climate was hot and very humid. We don’t blame Nugget for having a crack at McGinty, as we can imagine tempers became a little frayed now and then.
After the war, Nugget was discharged on the 11th March 1946 and he went back to Yea. He married a chemist and later sold the farm and moved to Iluka in NSW, where he managed the caravan park and his wife ran the pharmacy. On retirement he moved to Eumundi in Queensland, where he lived until his death.
Ray Hart and Paul Carter
The Spitfire Association