Sergeant Garnet James BAILEY

Service No: 403491
Born: Oberon NSW, 16n July 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 February 1941
Unit: No. 106 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Coningsby
Died: Air Operations (No. 106 Squadron Lancaster aircraft R5608), off the French Coast, 26 July 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Erskine Bailey and Hester Ellen Bailey, of Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the night of 25 July 1942 Lancaster R5608 took off from Coningsby for a mining operation in the Deodars area. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base. In 1946 it was established that the aircraft had been shot down between the islands of D’Oleron and De Re, off the west coast of France in the Bay of Biscay. Five crew members had been killed and two were Prisoners of War.

The crew members of R5608 were:

Sergeant E A Adams (1014620) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Garnet James Bailey (403491) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Ernest Bradley (997206) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Richard William Butler (1191385) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant H A Church (904836) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW
Sergeant Diamond Freeman (942986) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant William McPhie Samuel (749547) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Remains recovered

Flight Sergeant Church reported “Sergeant Bailey abandoned the aircraft on his own initiative through the front escape hatch, before the aircraft ditched. The crew of a German flak ship informed me that they heard his calls for assistance in the water some considerable distance from where the aircraft ditched. They informed me they attempted his rescue, but that he drowned before he could be reached.”


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, 163/90/344

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