LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Raymond James FLAHERTY

Service No: 416180
Born: Goodwood SA, 30 September 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 March 1941
Unit: No. 13 Squadron
Died: Aircraft Accident (No.2 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-186), near Hughes NT, 12 June 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Adelaide River War Cemetery, NT
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Patrick James Flaherty and Esta Jane Flaherty; husband of Elsie Elizabeth Annie Flaherty, of Woodville Gardens, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 12 June 1943, Hudson A16-186 crashed while attempting a forced landing at Hughes and caught fire and exploded on impact, killing all seven RAAF members on board. The aircraft seemed to be approaching from the northern end of the airstrip to make a landing. When the aircraft was directly over the end of the strip it was approximately 500 feet high with flaps and wheels down. The port engine was not running and the airscrew was feathered. When the aircraft was halfway down the airstrip, the wheels were pulled up and the Pilot appeared to put more power on the starboard motor. The aircraft then turned to port and lost height rapidly. At this stage the aircraft disappeared from sight and a few seconds later there was a crash followed by a loud explosion.

On board A16-186 were:

Flight Sergeant Raymond James Flaherty (416180) (Wireless Air Gunner) No. 13 Squadron
Flying Officer Louis George Knauer (405180) (Hudson Captain) No. 2 Squadron
Flight Lieutenant John Frederick Mason AFM (252763) (Pilot and Aircraft Captain) (Hudson Captain) No. 2 Squadron
Sergeant George Ridgway Rowland (409745) (Wireless Air Gunner) No 2 Squadron
Flying Officer Thomas Wallace Swann (411403) (Navigator Bomb Aimer) No. 2 Squadron
Flight Lieutenant John Richard Wood (280849) (Hudson Captain) No. 2 Squadron
Flight Sergeant Robert Donald Woods (404747) (Wireless Air Gunner) No. 13 Squadron

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 137

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