Who was John McNeill?
A foundation student, John McNeill was a pupil at St Joseph’s during the first three years of its existence. One of the original House Captains, he took full part in all school activities, he was possessed of considerable ability as an athlete and was College Athletics Champion in 1935, 1936 and 1937.
John McNeill enlisted in the RAAF in March 1940 and in April 1941 Sergeant / WAG John McNeill (wireless air gunner) set sail from Australia, arriving in Singapore on 11 April, (Good Friday) and was immediately sent to Kota Bharu the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base of operations in Northern Malaya, he returned to Singapore as the Japanese launched concurrent attacks on Malaysia and Pearl Harbour on 7 & 8 December 1941.
John McNeill was killed in a flying battle over Singapore on January 18th, 1942, age 23, he was the first St Joseph’s boy to be killed in action.