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  DAP Beaufort Mark VIII Serial Number A9-256  
RAAF
8 Squadron

Pilot   FLGOFF Frank Stanton Spooner 402682 (MIA / KIA) Beecroft, NSW
Navigator  FLTSGT Keith Harold Gardiner 405476 (MIA / KIA)
W/AG  FLTSGT Norman Cummins Fletcher 405475 (MIA / KIA) N. Rockhampton, QLD
Observer  FLTSGT Eric William Braid 414124 (MIA / KIA) Tenterfield, NSW

Crashed  September 23, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by DAP in Australia. Assigned to 8 Squadron.

Mission History
Took off from Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island on a bombing mission against Hoskin Airfield. Last seen over the target. Hit by anti-aircraft fire, clipped a palm tree and crashed into the sea off the Hoskin Peninsula.

Wreckage
During January 1946, a RAAF Searcher Team visited the area and searched for several miles along the coast. They found wreckage that indicated the plane was hit in the left engine and fuselage near the tail fin. No trace of the crew. Natives reported the plane crashed onto a reef about 30 yards offshore and rapidly submerged in deep water and none of the crew escaped.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. The entire crew is memorialized on the Rabaul Memorial at Bita Paka War Cemetery (Rabaul War Cemetery). Spooner on panel 34. Braid, Gardiner and Fletcher on panel 35.

References
RAAF Casualty File - F. S. Spooner
RAAF Searcher Team - Beaufort A9-256 Report February 19, 1946
CWGC - F. S. Spooner
CWGC - K. H. Gardiner
CWGC - N. C. Fletcher
CWGC - E. W. Braid
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-256
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
May 3, 2016

 

Tech Info
Beaufort

POW / MIA
MIA

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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