William Charles Coghlan
- Born: 16 Aug 1909, Stanthorpe, , Queensland, Australia
- Marriage (1): Ellen Mary Henwood in 1934 in Casino, , New South Wales, Australia
- Died: 15 Sep 1942, Papua New Guinea (WW2) at age 33
- Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
Cause of his death was Killed in Action WW2.
Another name for William was Billy.
William enlisted in the Australian Military Forces on 16 January 1942 at Paddington in Sydney. He was assigned the service number NX85196. He was 32 years and 5 months old, a farmer and stockman married with three children. He listed his wife as his next of kin, residing at Gordon Brook via Copmanhurst. His religion was recorded as Roman Catholic.
He was initially assigned to the EC Signals Training Depot spending most of his time in Tamworth, including a short stay in hospital with mumps. By the 14 April he was in Dubbo and assigned to the 1 Training Battalion. On 12 May he was assigned to the 3 Battalion and within a couple of weeks he was on his way to Port Moresby, New Guinea on board the S disembarking on the 7 June. He was immediately admitted to hospital with some kind of problem with his jaw that necessitated an X-Ray and did not rejoin his unit until 5 August 1942.
On 8 September he was detached to the Maroubra Force. This was the force assigned to defend Port Moresby from the advancing Japanese forces and they were involved in the Kokoda Track campaign. Within 8 days he was reported as "Missing believed wounded" but by 24 September it had been confirmed that he had been Killed in Action and shortly thereafter that he had been buried at "Ioribawa Ridge, map reference KAGI-NAORO 1" 309 532". On the 2 July 1943 his remains were recovered and reinterred at the Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby.
Ioribawa is a small village and at this time the Australians were engaging the Japanese forces there who were en-route to Port Moresby. The Unit War Diaries for the week in which William was killed reveal a number of enemy contacts from various patrols sent to find them. On the day William was killed the diaries reveal that a "Strong enemy patrol attacked on right flank forcing one Pl,. D Coy., to withdraw. The attack came from high ground between D and C Coys." It's seems likely that William was killed in this exchange, as no deaths were reported in the diaries (since he was presumed wounded, apparently).
William married Ellen Mary Henwood in 1934 in Casino, , New South Wales, Australia.