Flight Sergeant Douglas Walter BATTEN

Service No: 30053
Born: Launceston TAS, 8 May 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 March 1940
Unit: No. 640 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Leconfield
Died: Air Operations (No. 640 Squadron Halifax aircraft LW459), North Sea, 22 January 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter James Batten and Ethel Batten, of Launceston, Tasmania. Australia
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2028 hours on the night of 21 January 1944 Halifax LW459 took off from Leconfield to bomb Magdeburg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft until 0300 hours in the early morning when the aircraft reported it was coming down in the sea. The last signal was received at 0307 hours when it reported it was about to ditch. An SOS fix was obtained in position 54.14N 000.56E. Air Sea Rescue searches were carried out but no trace of the missing aircraft or crew was found. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of LW459 were:

Flight Sergeant Douglas Walter Batten (30053) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant John Richard Craig (1390151) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant John Andrew Haylock (1385509) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flight Sergeant Stanley Jones (1235025) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer II John Sirovyak (R/131523) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer George Sharpe Walker (J/23729) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Thomas Swinbank Wilkinson (1523185) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)


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, 166/5/218

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