|Pilot WO Clement Batstone Wiggins, 405335 (MIA / KIA) South Yarra, VIC
Observer WO Russell Henry Grigg, 405284 (MIA / KIA) Wamuran, QLD
WAG FSgt Gordon Lewis Hamilton, 414022 (MIA / KIA) Cleveland, QLD
WAG FSgt Albert Beckett, 408343 (MIA / KIA) Launceston, Tasmania
MIA September 5, 1943
Built by DAP in Australia. Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort A9-186. Assigned to 100 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On September 5, 1943 took off from Gurney Airfield on a bombing mission to Gasmata Airfield. Over the target, attacked by enemy fighters, none of the crew were observed to bail out. Other aircraft reported flames and black smoke column 7-8 miles north of the target indicating a crash. Another crash was reportedly south of the center of Gasmata Airfield. Also lost was Beaufort A9-374 (MIA).
When this Beaufort failed to return, the entire crew were listed as Missing In Action (MIA). This aircraft was officially written off on September 9, 1943.
During April 1946 a RAAF Searcher Team led by S/L Keith Rundle searched for this aircraft without results.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. All of the crew are memorialized at Bita Paka Cemetery on the Rabaul Memorial on panel 35.
Previously, three of the crew: Wiggins, Grigg and Hamilton survived the crash of Beaufort A9-266 on April 12, 1943 at Cabbage Tree Creek, NSW in Australia.
RAAF Status Card - Beaufort A9-186
CWGC - Clement Batstone Wiggins
CWGC - Russell Henry Grigg
CWGC - Gordon Lewis Hamilton
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-186
RAAFDB - Beaufort A9-186
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for information on prior crash.
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May 22, 2017