Warrant Officer Douglas Eston CLOSE

Service No: 414337
Born: Gladstone QLD, 7 November 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 September 1941
Unit: no. 12 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Wickenby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 12 Squadron Lancaster II aircraft JB405), France, 4 May 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Beauchery Communal Cemetery, Seine-et-Marne, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Ivo and Elsie Close, of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Rockhampton QLD
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster JB405 took off from RAF Wickenby at 2148 hours on the night of 3/4 May 1944 to bomb enemy military camps at Mailly-le-Camp, France. Northing was heard from the aircraft after take- off and it failed to return to base. Post war it was established that the aircraft crashed at Beauchery-St-Martin (Seine-et-Marne), 10 kms north east of Provins. It was believed that the aircraft when homebound had flown north of its intended track and crashed. Seven of the crew members were killed and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of JB405 were:

Pilot Officer John Denis Carter (172825) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Douglas Eston Close (414337) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant S Johnson (RAF) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Geoffrey Long (1537907) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Thomas Stanley Hayhurst (1495341) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Kenneth Norman Read (1410481) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Alexander Paton Simpson (1593858) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Raymond John Ward (139701) (RAFVR) (Navigator)


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, 166/7/491

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