Weingarth, Lieutenant Jack Henry

No 4 Sqn & No 5 Training Sqn AFC

Jack Weingarth was born in Marrickville, NSW, on 17 May 1892. He was a Civil Engineer and Licensed Surveyor, when he joined the AFC in Sydney on 22 January 1917. He had served in the AMF’s 5th Field Artillery Brigade for eighteen months, and had graduated as a pilot from the first Course at the NSW State Aviation School at Richmond. Due to his qualifications, he was commissioned in February before departing from Melbourne on HMAT A9 Shropshireon 11 May. On arrival in the UK he was appointed as a flying officer and processed through specialist training before being posted to No 4 Sqn in France in March 1918, after promotion to Lieutenant the previous month.

On 25 March he had to land at Amiens in Camel B7407, which then crashed when he tried to take off. This was due to a number of civilians, who were hanging on to the struts failing to let go, causing the aeroplane to swing completely round. He was flying Camel B7395 on 9 April when he hit a ridge when landing, but was unhurt. On 4 May, flying Camel C8300, he was credited with forcing down an Albatros scout at Vieux-Berquin, and he was mentioned in the Official History for his action on 28 July when he led a formation of Camels that bombed Bac St Maur.

In August he was posted to Home Establishment, and assigned to No 1 School of Special Flying at Gosport for training as a flying instructor before a posting to No 5 Training Sqn.

He died in an aircraft accident at Minchinhampton on 4 February 1919 when flying as an instructor in Avro 504 E9310 with Lt W H Millard. The Avro’s engine was missing, due to a shortage of petrol, when Lt Weingarth opted to land to refuel, and took control. After a steep left turn, the engine stopped, and the Avro stalled, spun twice and crashed. The Court of Enquiry determined that due to insufficient fuel the pilot was unable to make use of his engine when turning; hence the crash. Lt Millard survived the accident.

Lt J H Weingarth is buried at Leighterton Church Cemetery, Gloucestershire, England.

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