Aircraft Operations: (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft LB136), Sicily, 26 March 1943

The No. 458 Squadron Operations Record Book records the following entry on 26 March 1943: “two of our special Wellingtons were despatched from Malta at 1908 hours on 26March 1943 on shipping searches between Sicily/Naples and Sicily/Sardinia. As a result of this operation one of the aircraft failed to return to base.

The crew members of HX471 were:

Sergeant Wilfred Phillip Adams (412358) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 1 November 1945
Sergeant Reginald Gerald Bacon (1262806) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Fred Ernest Bailey (1356777) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Douglas Lynn Frost (403918) (Second Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 29 January 1946
Flight Sergeant Norman Charles Jones (141733) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW
Flight Sergeant George Jowett (993912) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW

In a later report the then Warrant Officer Frost stated “the aircraft was flying at 2000 feet when the propeller and shaft flew off. The aircraft lost height immediately and crash-landed near Sciacca (in Sicily) in an olive orchard. The aircraft burst into flames. The crew were all alive and became PoWs. I was released on 10 April 1945.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/14/24

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