Sergeant Ernest Douglas BAYLEY

Service No: 412568
Born: Dubbo NSW, 9 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 July 1941
Unit: No. 7 Squadron, Bairnsdale VIC
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 7 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-39), near Bairnsdale VIC, 9 June 1942, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Dubbo General Cemetery, Dubbo NSW
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Reginald Vance Bayley and Amy Edith Bayley, of Dubbo
Roll of Honour: Dubbo NSW
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Dubbo Memorial Drive and Rose Garden, Dubbo NSW

At 1430 hours on 9 June 1942, Hudson A16-39 took off to seaward from Bairnsdale accompanied by two other Hudson aircraft to search for a submarine. At 1614 hours the aircraft were recalled to base owing to s deterioration in the weather. This message was not acknowledged by A16-39, but it appears that it was received from events that followed. According to the report, the three aircraft were returning to base and one of them observed A16-39 following for approximately 20 miles, when about 45 miles from Base, it swung from a north west course to a westerly course for no apparent reason. A16-39 could be clearly seen for a considerable time after it changed course. The weather conditions had improved by the time the other two aircraft had landed.

At 1725 hours, A16-39 was given a radio bearing, and at 1827 hours another one, and these and eleven other subsequent bearings were not acknowledged. It was not until 1927 hours that an acknowledgment was received. Checks were made and bearings were found to be correct. Further messages were passed between the aircraft and radio control, and at 1948 hours the aircraft said it was lost. Further bearings were given and the last acknowledgement received was at 1949 hours. When it was realized that radio communication had broken down, flare paths were lit at Sale, and Mallacoota as well as Bairnsdale, Laverton and Pats River. At 2005 hours a farmer at Long Point on Lake Reeve heard an aircraft pass over his home and immediately after heard a crash. The aircraft crashed 500 yards from his house and burned. A16-39 crashed about 30 miles south south west of Bairnsdale and all the crew members were killed.

The crew members of A16-39 were:

Sergeant Ernest Douglas Bayley (412568) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Murdoch John Gawith (401622) (Observer)
Squadron Leader James William McGilvray (232) (Pilot)
Sergeant Frank Rupert Walton (401290) (Wireless Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 134
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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