LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Layton Challender BARRETT

Service No: 428116
Born: Launceston TAS, 14 June 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 December 1942
Unit: No. 1656 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Lindholme
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1656 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft LM175), Irish Sea, 6 February 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edgar Robert and Emma Elizabeth Barrett, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 284, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

After 2300 hours on 5 February 1945 Lancaster LM175 took off from Lindholme on a night cross country non operational training flight. The route was from Base – Benson – Shrewsbury – The Skerries – Strumble Head – Bury St Edmunds – Whittlesey and return to Base. The aircraft would have been over the sea for approximately half an hour. Contact was maintained until 0055 hours when the plane was in the vicinity of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Then nothing further was heard from LM175 and the aircraft did not return to Base. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of LM175 were:

Flight Sergeant Layton Challender Barrett (428116) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Alistair George Ross MacFarlane (1894129) (RAFVR)
Sergeant John Mackie (1571947) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Robert Erskine Plante (8651) (Pilot)
Sergeant Jack Edward Ralph (1867776) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Ronald Harold Howard Side (1629469) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Eric Smails (2219167) (RAFVR)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/932

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