Flight Sergeant Alfred John BURNS

Service No: 424711
Born: Mascot NSW, 18 June 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 October 1942
Unit: No. 77 Squadron (RAF), RAF Full Sutton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 77 Squadron Halifax aircraft MZ715), Netherlands, 17 June 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Dodewaard General Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur James Burns and Emily Adelaide Burns, of Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Lidcombe NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Halifax MZ715 took off from RAF Full Sutton at 2326 hours on the night of 16/17th June 1944, detailed to bomb Sterkrade, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. MZ 715 was one of seven aircraft from the Squadron that failed to return from the mission. The aircraft exploded in the air throwing Warrant Officer Owen clear and he had to spend some time in hospital. Debris was scattered between Ochten (Gelderland) and Dodewaard, two small villages on the banks of the Waal, 17 kms north west of Nijmegen. All the six other members of the crew were killed.

The crew members of MZ715 were:

Warrant Officer Alexander Albert Braid (408562) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Alfred John Burns (424711) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer Alan Irvine Crain (415308) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Trevor Rhys Davies (146291) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Victor Gledhill (1592716) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer A J Owen (818146) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant Patrick Edward Thomas Tiernan (426711) (Mid Upper Gunner)

Seven aircraft from the Squadron failed to return from the mission. Other RAAF members were lost on 17 June 1944 in Halifax NA 508 (Pilot Officer Robert Alexander Walton Blair (415498) (Pilot)) and Halifax NA 545 (Pilot Officer Harold William Bird (417330) (Pilot)).


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, 166/6/580

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