Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

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Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

Postby aussieaviatrix » 12 Mar 2015, 09:53

Hey everyone,

I recently read a book called "Target Area" by a chap called John Binning, who was a gunner in the "Top End" (around Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia). My Dad and I both read it and thoroughly enjoyed it -- it was written "in the field" by a man who loved his country and his fellowman, and it made for a fascinating read.

However, the book was published in 1943, so I'm still not sure if he survived the war. It's difficult to find information on him -- I've even chased the Australian Archives, but haven't had much luck yet. Not giving up though -- I simply figure I'm going to put a bit more time into it and turn it into a research project! :D There is another book that I believe he may have written called "Dear Mum" but I haven't been able to get hold a copy for myself just yet to see if it is the same man.

So basically, I'm wondering -- has anybody read either of the books, or heard of John Binning (possibly DJ Binning)?

Either way, I'd highly recommend "Target Area" to anyone with the slightest interest in Second World War history.....as I'm sure a few of us here have..... ;)

Cheers,
AA
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Re: Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

Postby J349 » 12 Mar 2015, 10:56

Hmm, interesting one! Is this the book?
Do you have information on what unit he served with? could it be possible that he wrote that book under an alias?
A description for the book here said he was a journalist as well?
A John Binning served as a correspondent for the Canberra Times and the Courier-Mail (could that be your man?) on board the aircraft carrier Theseus in 1947. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2720762
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/49311559
A John Binning received an MBE in the 1973 birthday honours list, but that was in the civil division and not Australian. There's quite a few British John Binnings on war memorials.

This is the summary of "Dear Mum": The reason for being -- On enlisting (1940) -- We're in the Army now -- Housekeeping - the Army way -- A winter cruise -- Darwin - the backside -- The fight -- The Queen Mary -- The Queen Mary daily -- Tel-Aviv -- Syria -- The torture of the sea -- Around the world and back.
http://library.pmi.net.au/fullRecord.jsp?recno=177
Petroffsky beamed. 'Now you may be certain of seeing me soon,' he declared. 'Au revoir. Remember, my rifle is at your command.'
'And my chocolate is at yours,' returned Biggles, smiling. 'Goodbye for now.'
Biggles Gets His Men.
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Re: Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

Postby tiffinata » 12 Mar 2015, 11:09

I hadn't heard of him. Sounds like a good read.
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Re: Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

Postby aussieaviatrix » 13 Mar 2015, 10:28

J349 wrote:Hmm, interesting one! Is this the book?

Yep, sure is! :) Thanks for all the ideas 8-)
J349 wrote:Do you have information on what unit he served with? could it be possible that he wrote that book under an alias?

Pretty certain in wasn't an alias -- haven't been able to find too much on what unit he served in, although I'm pretty sure it was based in Batchelor so I'll probably chase that one up. Didn't realise he was a journalist -- although that makes sense when I reread the dedication: "To those who love freedom: especially to my fellow-writers..." and other things I have recently come across. I did manage to find a picture of a gravestone for a "Lieut. D.J. Binning", with his service number being NX19792, but I'm not sure if it's the same man. It doesn't give a birth date, only that he died on 25 July 1975 age 71.
Going by the summary of "Dear Mum" it sounds like it could quite possibly be him! :) All good though -- I'll keep hunting around and see what I can come across. Something else interesting to do instead of uni....! ;)
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Re: Target Area....anyone heard of John Binning??

Postby tiffinata » 13 Mar 2015, 11:26

You might be able to track down his death certificate, as it is more than 25 years. That might give a birth date. Actually his birth cert should be available as well, as it is more than 100 years. But those will cost money.
Have you done a search through 'Ancestry'?
'....you cannot flout Nature with impunity. Treat Nature with respect, and she will tolerate you, even encourage you; but treat her with contempt, and your days are numbered.' Hits the Trail
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