Flight Sergeant Arthur Leslie CHIRNSIDE

Service No: 12302
Born: Sydney NSW, 25 May 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 February 1940
Unit: No. 459 Squadron, Landing Ground 40, Egypt
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 459 Squadron Hudson IIIB V8897), Landing Ground 40, 1 June 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Lilla Chirnside; husband of Joyce Chirnside, of Dungog, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Bondi NSW
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 1 June 1942, No. 459 Squadron began to operate from its own landing ground and the first patrol was off at 12:17 hours. The day was marred by the loss of seven Squadron members when Hudson V8897 crashed on the edge of the landing ground and burned. No Court of Inquiry was held. In Desert Scorpions, an eyewitness (1) report of the crash states “The pilot overshot the strip, then on banking with the large flap extended, turned into the wind for the second approach. According to those watching at 150 feet that was inviting disaster. The port wing stalled, the nose dipped and it was all over.”

Leading Aircraftman Robert James Aitken (32510) (Fitter IIE)
Sergeant Arthur Leslie Chirnside (12302) (Fitter)
Sergeant Francis Joseph Leavey (402445) (Pilot)
Sergeant Oliver Willis Osborne (402950) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
Leading Aircraftman Wallace David Reid (2281) (Fitter IIE)
Flight Sergeant Campbell Stephen (402888) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stanley Andrew Unger (403469) (Navigator)

(1) Sergeant Stanley Robert Thomas Charington (6184) Discharged from the RAAF: 25 September 1945


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 A9816, 145 (No. 459 Squadron Unit History)


Kane-Maguire L. (Leon) Desert Scorpions: 459 Squadron RAAF 1942-1945, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989

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