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LAC Kevin Mathew O'Brien 58082

Squadron/s110 MFCU
Rank On Discharge/Death Leading Aircraftman (LAC)
Mustering / SpecialisationWireless Telegraphist
Date of Birth15 Sep 1923
Date of Enlistment22 Jun 1942
Contributing Author/sRay Hart, Paul Carter
The Spitfire Association

Have you ever realized how many loving mothers named their child Kevin O’Brien? Well Obie is in this category and alas we are not sure now after 60 years which of the Kevin O’Brien’s Obie was. However, the records for Kevin Mathew O’Brien show he was discharged from Morotai and we are going to assume we have got the right fellow.

Kevin, or as he was known to his mates by the moniker of Obie, was born on the 15/9/1923 in Richmond Vic. He enlisted in the RAAF on the 22/6/1942.

Obie served with 110 MFCU (Mobile Fighter Control Unit) Darwin, Morotai and Balkipapan. The Unit was known as 110 Mobile Fighter Control Unit Assault Echelon for the landing at Balikpapan on the 1st July 1945 with the 7th Division A.I.F.

Quite a few had their heads shaved when they arrived in Darwin, to beat the heat. When one had just been shorn, the thing was to say to them, 'The adjutant is looking for you I believe you have been posted south'.

Obie was a great character and really enjoyed a drink. His father had served in WW1 and knew the drill sending him a bottle of scotch in a loaf of bread when we were in Morotai. A bottle of scotch sold for 90 guilders ($30) and he could have bought fifteen bottles of beer for that.

He decided to take a few nips and fill up the space with distilled water and then sell it, unfortunately he got the taste and he, along with Burge Burgess and Eddie Jenkins finished it off.

On another occasion John Barry (Abe) Edstein and Bruce Clegg had just finished a home brew and were about to taste it when Obie walked past their tent, they called him in and gave him a taste. He screwed his face up in a look of horror, exclaiming, 'It's beautiful' and stayed on for a few more drinks. Later that day the C.O. Doug Vanderfield said to Abe 'What did you do to O'Brien?'

Obie was discharged on the 5/2/1946 and we can assume he had a clear head by then.

No 110 MFCU "Skinheads" getting ready for the tropical climate of Morotai. Identified in the photo are Association members Kerry Burgess (Standing, second left) and Peter Nugent (kneeling on right)

Learn more about the squadron/s in which Kevin served.

We do our very best to make sure the information in the stories we share is correct. These stories are maintained to show our respect for the pilots, ground crew, design engineers and all who were involved with the Spitfire. In many cases, the information has been collected from the personal interactions between our members and the pilots and crew featured, and on many occasions, this process happened much later in the veterans' lives. If you believe anything on our site is not historically accurate, we welcome the additional stories, records and photos needed to help us correct the record. We thank you for your understanding.