Warrant Officer James Frederick Morgan BENNETT

Service No: 404195
Born: Oakey QLD, 18 January 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 June 1940
Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAF), Landing Ground 116, Egypt
Died: Allied Air Raid (Prisoner of War): Germany, 19 February 1945, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Frederick William and Gladys Morgan Bennett, of Beecroft, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Oakey QLD
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Warrant Officer Bennett was killed when a train he was on was strafed by RAF Mustangs on the afternoon of 19 February 1945 at Halberstadt, Thuringia. Later on that day Warrant Officer John Gow Shierlaw (416107) and Private Rex Woodgate (NX5318) (2/4 Australian Infantry Battalion) were killed near the village of Gresse during the same fighter operation.

Warrant Officer Bennett became a Prisoner or War on 28 November 1941 when Blenheim aircraft L1317 and V5906 carried out a raid on motor transport near Gambut. After the raid L1317 went down to rescue the crew of V5096 which had been force landed. After picking up the crew and the pilot of Hurricane Z4965 which had also been forced down, L1317 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

The crew members of L1317 were:

Warrant Officer James Frederick Morgan Bennett (404195) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Killed: 19 February 1945
Flying Officer Geoffrey Shuttleworth Burgan DFC (407284) (Navigator) PoW, Escaped, Killed on Air Operations: 9 April 1942
Sergeant Brendan Peter Collins (629665) (RAFVR) (V5906 Crew) PoW
Captain Hendrik Christoffel Weideman Liebenberg (102706V) (SAAF) (Pilot of Z4965) PoW
Lieutenant S Paterson (2630) (SAAF) (Pilot of L1317) PoW
Sergeant N R Powell (751672) (RAFVR) (V5906 Crew) PoW
Flying Officer John Pringle-Wood (81019) (RAFVR) (Pilot of V5906) PoW


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, 166/5/809

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