LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Peter Lionel Barrett MARSH DFC

Service No: 408191
Born: Wyong NSW, 21 September 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1941 (at Hobart TAS)
Unit: No. 3 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station Rathmines, NSW
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 24 May 1946 (Citation Title: No. 11 Squadron)
Died: Air Operations (No. 3 Operational Training Unit Catalina aircraft IB 279), South Pacific area, 4 February 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Raymond Walter and Ruby Lanoma Annie Marsh; husband of Valerie Jean Marsh, of Launceston, Tasmania.
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 9, Port Moresby Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

DFC Citation: “Flight Lieutenant Marsh has been engaged in active operations against the enemy with No. 11 Squadron for eleven months, and he has completed 640 hours operational flying as second pilot and 700 hours a Captain. He has participated in 24 night bombing raids, 57 day and night armed reconnaissance flights, eight mine laying sorties, five supply drop missions, and two sea rescue flights. Flight Lieutenant Marsh has displayed exceptional skill, courage and resourcefulness, and has always pressed home his attacks regardless of the opposition. His devotion to duty is outstanding.”

On 4 February 1944, Catalina aircraft IB 279 went missing on a ferry flight between Suva, Fiji and Rathmines. The missing crew members are:

Sergeant William George Drew (24534)
Flying Officer Austin George Durst (408641)
Flying Officer Robert Maxwell Hamilton (408990)
Flying Officer Geoffrey Ireland (16737)
Flight Lieutenant Peter Lionel Barrett Marsh DFC (408191) (Pilot)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 150
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991

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