Flying Officer Wrinch Joseph Charles BUDD 

Service No: 406971
Born: Midland Junction WA, 22 August 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 May 1941
Unit: No. 31 Squadron, Coomalie Creek NT
Died: Air Operations: (No. 31 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-60), Netherlands East Indies, 6 May 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Reginald Ebenezer and Florence Maggie Budd, of Guildford, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 8, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

For some time Japanese float-planes had been intercepting Allied reconnaissance aircraft in the Am Islands area, and the day before the Beaufighter attack a bomber crew had noticed several in the water at Taberfane.  Bladin (Air Commodore F. Bladin, Air Officer Commanding North West Area) ordered an immediate attack by available Beaufighter aircraft.  Led by Squadron Leader Gordon Walter Savage (168), the Beaufighters flew to Milingimbi airfield where they stayed overnight. Next morning before sunrise they took off and flew in formation through thunderstorms to Taberfane.  The float-planes were well silhouetted against the white sand of the beach and two were anchored slightly off shore when the Beaufighters arrived.  Savage checked his formation and then began a dive from about 1,300 feet, opening fire with his cannon which set one of the float-planes on fire.    A Japanese bullet struck Savage’s machine, passing through the throttle controls and entering the fuel tank.  But the self-sealing compound in the tank stopped the petrol leaking   When the Beaufighters returned for a second run they saw columns of smoke rising above the float-planes.  From then on the pilots passed back and forth and destroyed nine aircraft before all cannons had stopped firing due to faults.  When Savage called his flight together again one machine, piloted by Flying Officer Budd (406971), did not join him and he and his navigator (Pilot Officer Finlay McQueen (207758)) were later posted missing.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Pages 50-1


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 14


Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed Terry Hills NSW, 1980
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

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