LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer John Arnold McDONALD

Service No: 417233
Born: Adelaide SA, 29 July 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 104 Squadron (RAF), Foggia Main, Italy
Died: Air Operations (No. 104 Squadron Wellington aircraft LP499), Austria, 6 July 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arnold Frederick and Elsie Pretoria McDonald, of McLaren Vale, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: McLaren Vale SA
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Wellington LP499 took off on the night of 6/7th July 1944, detailed to bomb Feuersbrunn Aerodrome near Vienna, Austria. The purpose of this attack was to disrupt German fighter aircraft operations against US Bombers raiding facilities on the oil supply route along the Danube River. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team later reported “the aircraft was shot down on 6th July by a night fighter and crashed at Trestlgraben, approximately 32 miles south west of Vienna. All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Klagenfurt War Cemetery.”

The crew members of LP499 were:

Flight Lieutenant George Stevenson Cruden (126615) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Robert Hamilton (1321229) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Selby Ronald James (427466) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer John Arnold McDonald (417233) (Pilot)
Sergeant Gordon William Pusey (1039691) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/510

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