LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Daniel Brook GRIFFITHS

Service No: 30185
Born: Hobart TAS, 2 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 May 1940
Unit: No. 19 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Station Kinloss
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 19 Operational Training Unit Whitley aircraft LA841), Moray Firth, 28 April 1942, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground, Moray, Scotland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Lionel George and Rosa Kathleen Griffiths, of South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Hobart TAS
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2200 hours on the night of 27 April 1942, Whitley LA841 took off from Kinloss, to carry out a night cross-country training exercise. At 0200 hours the aircraft dived at high speed and crashed into the Moray Firth, two miles off Nairn. In the morning the wreck of the aircraft was located, lying on its back, the lowered undercarriage protruding clear of the water. An inflated dinghy was floating nearby. All the crew members had been killed.

The crew members of LA841 were:

Flight Sergeant Eric Stuart Blake (R/150542) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Alfred Gordon Debenham (943098) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Joseph Stanley Grocock (1443282) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Daniel Brook Griffiths (30185) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Dugald McLachlan (1340993) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Mitchell (1234582) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

An investigation reported that “The aircraft had been detailed to carry out a four hour night operational training cross-country. The aircraft maintained its course through the exercise and when it was nearing base, it received several priority QDMs (magnetic headings to base). The last QDM was at 0149 hours. At approximately 0200 hours the Coast Guards reported that an aircraft had crashed into the sea. The main fuselage had crashed about half a mile off shore and must have struck the sea a great speed. The outer portion of the port main plane and a large amount of small wreckage was lying as far as 600 yards inshore from the main wreck. So far one badly damaged engine has been salvaged and this shows conclusive evidence of severe over revving. The main wreck has not yet been salvaged.”

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, 166/6/75

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