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  DAP Beaufort Mark VIII Serial Number A9-225  
RAAF
100 Squadron

Pilot F/O John Clifton Davis, 416834 (MIA / KIA) Clare, SA
Navigator F/Sgt Geoffrey Raymond Emmett, 401932 (MIA / KIA) Balwyn, VIC
Gunner Sgt William Thomas Brain, 420130 (MIA / KIA) Newcastle, NSW
Gunner Sgt George Collins, 420447 (MIA / KIA) Bondi Junction, NSW

MIA  July 12, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark VIII serial number A9-225. Assigned to 100 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On July 12, 1943 took off from Gurney Field near Milne Bay on a patrol mission over Bougainville.

Meanwhile, a US Navy PB4Y-1 Liberator pilot Bill Corbett co-pilot Bill Reid from VD-1 Photographic Squadron on a routine patrol observed a G4M1 Betty at the same altitude and the turned to attack it but the enemy bomber turned towards Buka Passage and managed to escape. Another aircraft unidentified twin engine aircraft (this Beaufort) was spotted about 100' off the sea and was observed to turn towards the PB4Y that closed to 1,000 yards and opened fire, and the unidentified aircraft returned fire then pulled away. The PB4Y followed and observed it smoking then made a 90 degree turn and crashed into the sea west of Bougainville roughly 06-30S 154-02E. 

Fate of the Crew
Circling the crash, the PB4Y observed two survivors and identified them as white men and dropped life rafts, survival gear and circled them until the limit of their fuel endurance. Aboard the life raft, three crew members survived for almost three weeks in the life raft, being spotted twice in that time.  During a tropical storm, the life raft disappeared and no trace of the crew has ever been found. As a result of this incident, other aircraft were forbidden to enter the areas covered by search planes.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission (incorrectly, two survived for at least three weeks). All four are memorialized on the Port Moresby Memorial at Bomana War Cemetery. Brain, Collins and Davis on panel 9.

References
ADF Serials - Beaufort A9-225
CWGC - John Clifton Davis
CWGC - Geoffrey Raymond Emmett
CWGC - William Thomas Brain
CWGC - George Collins

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
Beaufort

MIA
MIA
4 Missing

Map
Approximate
06°30'S
154°02'E

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