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Daniel J. Leahy
World War II Researcher & Archaeologist

Daniel has been interested in Second World War aviation since about age ten when hearing stories of his grandfather’s cousin, Keith O’Halloran, who served with the Royal Australian Air Force and trained in Canada as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).

In late 2000 Daniel visited his first wreck site, that of Beaufort A9-228 on Mount Tawonga near Eskdale in Victoria, Australia.  Soon after this he became a key contributor to the Pacific Wrecks team, collaborating with Justin Taylan on an almost daily basis.

In 2001 Daniel visited a number of World War II sites during a family holiday through Queensland and, in 2005 and 2006 visited sites in Papua New Guinea. Daniel’s grandmother’s brother-in-law, Private Roy John Schmidt, was killed along the Sanananda Track while serving with the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion in January 1943, so Daniel’s visits were mostly concentrated on sites related to the battles around Buna, Gona, and Sanananda in late 1942 and early 1943.

At this time Daniel was working as a database administrator in Canberra, so used his skills to catalogue details of aircraft losses and missing personnel in online systems such as Project PRIAM and the RAAF Casualty Database. He also volunteered at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) during this time.

In 2014 Daniel traveled to Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Wrecks team to search for missing American servicemen. The following year Daniel returned to university to formally study History and Archaeology at the University of New England (UNE).  In early 2016 Daniel left the Pacific Wrecks team to concentrate on his studies.

In 2018 Daniel will be commencing his Honours year studying Archaeology at UNE where he will be investigating the archaeology of the Empire Air Training Scheme. Daniel is now the administrator of the AviationHeritage.org and continues to provide research assistance and leads to Pacific Wrecks on a regular basis.

Also, Daniel is searching for information regarding family members who served in the Australian Military:
* Roy John Schmidt (KIA January 1943, Sanananda)
* Hector Richard Hore (Killed November 1943, C-47 "Star Duster" 41-18648)
* Roy Henry Schulz (POW, Singapore/Malaya)
* Charles Schulz (POW, Singapore/Malaya)
* Thomas William Miller (WWI, 24 Battalion AIF)

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