LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Alfred Stephenson BENNETT

Service No: 407818
Born: Tamworth NSW, 24 April 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 407 Squadron (RCAF), RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 407 Squadron Hudson aircraft FH346), Netherlands Coast, 21 June 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Bennett; husband of Olga Bennett, of Elizabeth Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Broken Hill NSW
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Hudson FH346 of 407 Squadron together with four other squadron aircraft were detailed to attack enemy shipping off the Dutch coast. The aircraft took off from RAF Station Bircham Newton, at 2335 hours on the night of 20 June 1942, and proceeded to datum. They flew singly and not in formation as the night was too dark. Four aircraft returned from the mission, one attacking a ship of 2,000 tons, although slightly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. Nothing was heard from FH346 and it did not return to base. The bodies of Sergeant Bennett and Sergeant Aikenhead were washed ashore on the Eastern Friesian Island off the Dutch coast. In 1949 it was recorded that the other two missing crew members had lost their lives at sea and have no known graves.

The crew members of FH346 were:

Sergeant Lloyd Lawrence Aikenhead (R/91917) (RCAF) (Observer)
Sergeant Alfred Stephenson Bennett (407818) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Michael Duffy (406438) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Patrick Campbell Little (J/6854) (RCAF) (Pilot)

References:

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/91/231