LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Joseph Marcel BONNEFIN

Service No: 403549
Born: Burwood NSW, 18 March 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 48 Squadron (RAF) RAF Station Wick, Caithness,
Died: Air Operations (No. 48 Squadron Hudson aircraft AM873), North Sea, 16 February 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Lucien and Kathleen Bonnefin, of Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0830 hours on 16 February 1942 Hudson AM873 of 48 Squadron took off from Wick to carry out a South Stander patrol. The ETA at Wick was 1405 hours. No signals were received from the aircraft after take-off and it did not return to base. The remains of one crew member was washed ashore. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1948 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of AM873 were:

Flying Officer Sidney Birch (89601) (RAFVR) (Pilot) Remains recovered
Sergeant Joseph Marcel Bonnefin (403549) (Navigator)
Sergeant John Croll (952005) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Gerald Purcell (R/58684) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/93/427