LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Gordon Ediss BOYES

Service No: 408244
Born: Suva, Fiji, 31 October 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1941 (at Hobart TAS)
Unit: No. 15 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 15 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft DV936), Worcestershire, 21 April 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ediss and Madge Boyes; husband of Marjorie Joan Boyes, of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 21 April 1943 Wellington DV936 took off from RAF Harwell for cross-country navigational exercise. Shortly before 1115 hours while flying in formation with another aircraft, a fire broke out in the starboard engine. The aircraft lost height as if the Pilot contemplated landing. However the fire took firm hold and first the engine then the starboard wing disengaged. Totally out of control, the bomber crashed at Wychbold, eight miles north north east of Worcester, and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of DV936 were:

Flight Sergeant Gordon Ediss Boyes (408244) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Denis Edward Hamlyn (1282690) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant William Patrick Hoare (1035815) (RAFVR) (Second Air Gunner)
Sergeant Howard Miles Holmes (1433551) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Albert George Page (1395720) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Leslie Frederick John Short (1295112) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Noel George Woodward (139846) (RAFVR) (Second Air Bomber)

A subsequent report into the accident found that “a cylinder head barrel between Nos 14 and 15 fins had fractured, leading to a catastrophic engine fire followed by structural failure of the starboard wing. There were indications that the failure was due to fatigue.”

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, 166/6/123

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