|Pilot F/O Robert Barclay Anderson, 409070 (MIA / KIA) San Remo, VIC
Observer F/Sgt Jeffrey Alan Heath, 412440 (MIA / KIA) Curlewis, NSW
WAG F/Sgt Robert Harrison, 410054 (MIA / KIA) Korumburra, VIC
WAG Sgt Lawrence Vincent McMahon, 409931 (MIA / KIA) Wycheproof, VIC
Crashed September 5, 1943
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark VIII serial number A9-183. Assigned to 100 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 5, 1943 took off from Gurney Airfield near Milne Bay at 5:20am piloted by F/O Robert Barclay Anderson as one of ten on a bombing mission against Gasmata Airfield. Over the target, shot down by anti-aircraft fire and crashed.
When this aircraft failed to return it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost were Beaufort A9-186 (MIA), Beaufort A9-374 (MIA) and Beaufort A9-362 (force landed, crew unhurt). This Beaufort was officially written off on September 9, 1943.
During April 1946, the crash site of this Beaufort was located by a
RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundle. The remains of the crew were located and recovered.
The entire crew are officially declared dead the day of the mission.
After the recovery of remains, the entire crew was buried at Bitapaka War Cemetery in collective grave D. A. 8-11.
NAA RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 100 Squadron Mar 42 - Aug 46
(NAA: A9186, 123) page 225
"5/Sept/43 Strike against Gasmata - Ten aircraft from this squadron. Three Beauforts failed to return. Two seen to be hit by enemy A.A. fire and crash. Fire and smoke observed about 7 miles N.E. Gasmata assumed to be the third. Details of missing aircraft and the crews which are posted 'Missing, Believed killed' are:
A9-374 F/Lt R. H. Woolacott [sic Woollacott] pilot
A9-183 F/O R. B. Anderson pilot
A9-186 F/Sgt C. B. Wiggins pilot
A9-362 was damaged by enemy A.A. fire and ground looped and crashed on landing at Goodenough due to tyre being shot away. The aircraft was not repairable and was converted to component parts. Crew, none of whom were injured, comprised: F/O. C. S. Walsh pilot."
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-183
CWGC - Robert Barclay Anderson
CWGC - Jeffrey Alan Heath
CWGC - Robert Harrison
Lawrence Vincent McMahon
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January 5, 2018