Sergeant William BOURKE

Service No: 402645
Born: North Sydney NSW, 30 May 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 September 1940
Unit: No 51 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Dishforth
Died: Air Operations (No. 51 Squadron Whitley aircraft Z9220), North Sea, 1 November 1941, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Nicholas and Elizabeth Jane Bourke, of Waverton, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 62, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1738 hours on the night of 31 October 1941Whitley Z9220 took off from Dishforth to attack Hamburg, Germany, but failed to return to base from the night operation. A radio message from the aircraft calling for help was received at 0032 hours on 1 November, and the last known fix position of the aircraft was approximately 165 miles east of Flamborough Head. Z 9220 carried a bomb load of 2 x 500lb, and 6 x 250 lb bombs. It was presumed that the aircraft was missing as a result of enemy action. On 10 November 1941 a dinghy belonging to Z 9220 was picked up by a trawler 17 miles east of Yarmouth. The dinghy contained the body of one crew member who could not be identified. The remaining missing members were not located and it was concluded that they had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of Z9220 were:

Sergeant William Bourke (402645) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Albert Thomas Bradly (R/54033) (RCAF)
Sergeant Samuel Burgess (951888) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Charles Allan Guan (402349) (Pilot)
Sergeant Geoffrey Oliver Williams (918480) (RAFVR)


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, 163/93/321

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