BASSETT Donald James 406465

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Donald James BASSETT 

Service No: 406465
Born: Collie WA, 31 August 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: No. 4 Communication Unit, Archerfield QLD
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 4 Communication Unit Hudson aircraft A16-118), off Cairns QLD, 5 March 1945, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Bailey Bassett and Charlotte Elizabeth Norah Bassett, of Wembley Park, Western Australia. A.A.I.A.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 5, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 111, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

After takeoff from Cairns enroute to New Guinea, at 1620 hours Hudson A16-118 crashed about 500 meters off shore in four metres of water and ended up resting on its back.  Weather at the time was 9/10 cloud cover, no wind, ceiling 1,500 feet, visibility 8 kms, and no rain.  An attempt was made to salvage the aircraft, but no survivors were found.

Those on board A16-118 were:

Crew:

Flight Lieutenant Donald James Bassett (406465) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Berrol Samuel Frieze (409400) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Leading Aircraftman John Dudley Moore(77157) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Gordon Thomson DFM (400573) (Navigator)

Passengers:

Lieutenant Colonel George Anthony Bertram OBE MID (NX324) (Australian Army)
Major General Rupert Major Downes CMG VD (VX57673) (Australian Army)
Corporal Edward Lewis James (NX4011) (Australian Army)
Flight Lieutenant John William Newell (404543)
Lieutenant William Rigall (VX80932) (Australian Army)
Colonel Robert Heathcote Russell DSO MID (NX168) (Australian Army)
Major General George Alan Vasey CB CBE DSO and Bar MID (VX9) (Australian Army)

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, 135

Bibliography:

Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990