|Pilot F/Sgt John Eardley Kenny, 415663 (MIA / KIA)
Navigator F/Sgt Arthur John Davies (MIA / KIA)
WAG F/Sgt Thomas Burrowes (MIA / KIA) Middle Park, VIC
WAG F/Sgt Murry Fairbairn, 409528 (MIA / KIA) Frankston, VIC
MIA December 14, 1943
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark VII serial number A9-211. Assigned to 100 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
On May 20, 1943 took off from Gurney Airfield near Milne Bay piloted by F/L Bourne at 4:51pm on a flight to Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island in preparation for a bombing mission that evening.
At 7:45pm took off from Vivigani Airfield piloted by F/L Bourne at 7:45pm on mission Gur 89, a bombing mission against Gasmata Airfield and dump areas. In total, nine bombers participated in the mission: Beaufort A9-203, Beaufort A9-193, Beaufort A9-227, Beaufort A9-188 (MIA), Beaufort A9-212, Beaufort A9-216, Beaufort A9-214, Beaufort A9-211 (this aircraft) and Beaufort A9-200.
Each bomber was armed with 2 x 500 pound bombs and 2 x 250 pound bombs and incendiaries. Over the target, the Beauforts bombed and strafed the target area causing small fires and explosions. This aircraft returned safely at 11:53pm.
On May 21, 1943 took off piloted by F/L Bourne at 8:45am on a search mission for Beaufort A9-188 flying over Milne Bay to Gasmata escorted by fighters and made nil sighting, landed safely at 12:42pm.
On December 14, 1943 took off from Vivigani Airfield on Goodenough Island a bombing mission against Rabaul. No communication was received from the aircraft, nor was it seen after take off. Weather during the flight was very bad and many aircraft returned without locating the target.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission.
All crew members are now commemorated on the Lae Memorial at Lae War Cemetery. Kenny, Davies, Burrowes and Fairbairn on panel 7.
NAA RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Number 100 Squadron Mar 42 - Aug 46
(NAA: A9186, 123) pages 163-164
[Page 163] "Gur 89 - Strike against Gasmata Strip & Dumps. A9-211 and A9-200 airborne at Vivigani and all aircraft landed Gurney. A9-210 u/s at Vivigani. Each aircraft dropped 2 x 500 G.P. and 2 x 250 G.P. bombs and incendiaries. All in target area. Small fires and explosions observed. Also strafed target area. A9-193 sighted and strafed 150 ton vessel 4 miles E.)
[Page 164] "[Gur 89 cont] of Gasmata which ran ashore. A9-188 did not return from mission."
Gur 90 Search for missing aircraft A9-188, area Milne Bay to Gasmata with fighter cover. A9-191 sighted bright yellow rubber dinghy 800 yards south of Gasmata. Also one piece of wreckage about 2' 6" square, but unable to identify. Others nil sightings.
Diverging search for missing aircraft A9-188. Nil sightings."
CWGC - John Eardley Kenny
CWGC - Arthur John Davies
CWGC - Thomas Burrowes
CWGC - Murry Fairbairn
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-211
RAAFDB - Beaufort A9-211
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February 4, 2018