LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Walter Voss BATES

Service No: 410296
Born: Cape Town, South Africa, 2 March 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 December 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 20 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-203), off Taiwan, 7 March 1945, Aged 34 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederic Michael and Jessie Flora Bates; husband of Mary Gwen Bates, of Redcliffs, Queensland
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 32, Labuan Memorial, Malaysia
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

A24-203 was one of three RAAF Catalina aircraft tasked to lay mines off the Pescadores. The aircraft departed Lingayen Gulf at 1630 hours on 7 March 1945 and nothing further was heard from it. The crew members of A24-203 were:

Warrant Officer Walter Voss Bates (410296) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Keith McClement Caulley (405902) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer James Reginald Cleworth (419457) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Alfred Russell Jones (67893) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Malcolm Oswald Merrett (412995) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Alan Rowe (68674) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross William Schulz (417318) (Pilot)
Sergeant Walter Douglas Scott (73252) (Armourer / Air Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Kelway Storrie (19805) (Fitter II Airframe / Air Gunner)

The other Catalina aircraft in the operation were captained by:

Flying Officer Anthony Noel Lee Atkinson DFC (410827) (No. 43 Squadron) Discharged: 13 July 1945
Squadron Leader Arthur Gregory Fletcher (O2332) (No. 43 Squadron) Discharged: 25 January 1952

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, 149
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