John Edward (Ted) O’Halloran was born in Kerang in December 1914, the second son of Joseph and May O’Halloran and one of eight children. They lived in Nugget Street in Kerang and later the family moved to Forest Street in Koondrook. Ted went to school in Koondrook.
His father (my grandfather) commenced work with the Kerang Shire in 1914 as Locomotive Driver and Maintenance Engineer. He remained there for 35 years before his retirement to Channel Street, Cohuna in 1949. Ted and his brothers helped their father out in his mechanical workshop and learned many of the basic trade skills from him. Work was hard to find in the local area, apart from occasional work as a farm labourer. Prior to the RAAF Ted worked as a Garage Attendant for J. Troy in Barham.
On 26 March 1940, Ted enlisted in the RAAF at No. 1 Recruit Depot in Laverton, Victoria. In May 1940, he was posted to Engineering School in Ascot Vale for Technical Training. He was trained as Flight Mechanic and Fitter 11E.
HONOURS AND AWARDS
Ted was awarded with the following war medals:
§ Pacific Star
§ Defence Medal
§ War Medal 1939 – 1945
§ Australian Service Medal 1939 – 1945
§ Return from Active Service Badge
FAMILY STORIES Not sure if this is true or just a family myth…
They were in Sydney at Rose Bay and were doing some final checks on a Sunderland Air Craft. They had to take it out on a test flight before it was returned to Port Morseby. Given that it was a Flying Boat, they decided to fly it under the Sydney Harbour Bridge! The story goes that this was the first time anyone had attempted that feat but later American fighter planes caught on to the idea as well. The authorities stepped in and the practice was stopped.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
While posted at the Flying Boat Repair Depot at Lake Boga in 1943, Ted met Betty King, through his sister Hazel (who was nursing at Swan Hill Hospital at the time). Betty and Ted married in June 1943 and then Ted was posted back to Port Moresby in July 1944. Their first child, Patricia Frances, was born in January 1945 while Ted was posted overseas. She was 8 months old when he returned.
Ted was discharged from the Air Force on 4 October 1945 to return to civilian life. He and his wife Betty and their five children lived in Channel Street, Cohuna for many years and later moved to King George Street, Cohuna. After “retirement”, Ted decided to take up bee keeping for a hobby.
He passed away at Cohuna District Hospital on 29 January 2004 after a short illness. The funeral was held at the Catholic Church in Cohuna and was followed by a Returned Services League (RSL) service at the Cohuna Cemetery. A life well lived 🙂