Walker, Lieutenant John Mercer

No 1 Sqn AFC

John Walker was born in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1888. He became a Chemist before he enlisted in the 3rd Light Horse at Broadmeadows, Victoria, on 9 September 1914. He was made Staff Sergeant in November. On 2 February 1915 he left from Melbourne on HMAT A51 Chilka. After service at Gallipoli, he was evacuated to Mudros in October 1915, after which he returned to the 3rd LH. In August 1917 he transferred to the AFC to undergo pilot training, from which he graduated in November, after which he was commissioned. A period of attachment to No 17 Sqn RFC then followed, before he was promoted to Lieutenant in February and then posted to No 1 Sqn.
Lt Walker is mentioned several times in the Official History. On 27 March he was flying in a Bristol F2B with Lt G Finlay, in company with Capt D W Rutherford and Lt J Mc Elligott, when they forced down a German AEG two seater near Kissir, south of Amman, and destroyed it on the ground. On 24 July, he was with Lt H A Letch MC, in company with Capt G C Peters and J H Traill, when they combined to shoot down a German two seater north of Mejdel Yaba. He was commended for the high quality of his report on Turkish positions on 31 July.

He was killed in action near Ramleh aerodrome on 22 August 1918 while flying Bristol F2B B1222, with Lt H A Letch MC who was also killed. The Australians had engaged a Rumpler two seater from FA 301, flown by Ltn Sakonski and Ltn Moser from above and behind, and the Bristol was last seen going down in flames. Capt A R Brown in B1284 then shot down the enemy machine for his fifth victory; the crew were captured.

Lt J M Walker is buried in Grave AA 20 at Ramleh War Cemetery, Palestine.

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