Warrant Officer David Bernard BENSON

Service No: 402487
Born: Sydney NSW, 29 October 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 September 1940
Unit: No. 30 Squadron
Died: Prisoner of War (Executed) (Following the loss of No. 30 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-149 on 30 December 1944), North Celebes, 31 March 1945, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry Benjamin and Lydia Benson; husband of Dorothy Maud Benson, of Highett, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 30 December 1944, Beaufighter A19-149 together with A19-189 (Flight Lieutenant Robert Edgar Richmond (Pilot) (406732) (Discharged: 4 February 1946), was detailed to carry out a photographic and armed reconnaissance on the coastline from Cape Doelang to Koeandang Bay in the North Celebes. At 0633 hours the aircraft took off from Wama Strip, Morotai, and proceeded to Cape Doelang without incident. They then commenced the reconnaissance sweep to Koeandang Bay, completed the task and then turned inland in the direction of Gorontalo. A19-149 was last seen by the navigator of A19-189 at approximately 0855 hours south east of Mt Danap in the North Celebes. A few minuted later A19-149 completely disappeared. A19-189 did an extensive search of the Mt Danap area, but no trace of the missing aircraft was seen. Radio contact was also unsuccessful and A19-189 then returned to base. Both the crew members of A191-149 survived the crash although the Pilot was injured. They were captured by the Japanese on 31 December 1944. It was later established that on or before 31 March 1945, they were both executed by the Japanese in the Kakaskasan area North Celebes, together with Flying Officer Keith Packham (436776).

The crew members of A19-149 were:

Warrant Officer David Bernard Benson (402487) (Pilot)
Sergeant Robert Leonard Fredrick Jones (69985) (Navigator Wireless)


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 A9301, 402487; A9845, 19

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