LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant William Arthur Mathias DAVIS

Service No: 408278
Born: Moreland VIC, 9 October 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1941 (at Hobart TAS)
Unit: No. 218 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Downham Market
Died: Air Operations (No. 218 Squadron Stirling aircraft BK688), Belgium, 30 May 1943, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Schaffen Communal Cemetery, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur and Mary Elizabeth Davis; husband of Meryl Florence Davis, of Essendon, Victoria, Australia. Pharmaceutical Chemist.
Roll of Honour: Essendon VIC
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2308 hours on the night of 29h May 1943 Stirling BK688 took off from Downham Market detailed to bomb Wuppertal, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter at 0200 hours on 30 May 1943 and crashed on Schaffen airfield (Brabant), 2 kms north north east of Diest, Belgium. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of BK688 were:

Flight Lieutenant Leslie William Abbiss (82184) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant James Alfred Bramble (653941) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Arthur Mathias Davis (408278) (Pilot)
Sergeant Thomas Wilkinson Dixon (1527169) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant George Alan Ashley Grant (572554) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant William Robert Howes (1284892) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Thomas Lloyd Portrey (1030622) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)

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, 166/9/96

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