Pilot Officer Albert Lance COATES

Service No: 418808
Born: Benalla VIC, 25 March 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1942
Unit: No. 299 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Keevil, Wiltshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 299 Squadron Stirling aircraft LJ855), off the French Coast, 6 June 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: La Deliverance War Cemetery, Douvres, Calvados, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Lance Coates and Mary Coates, of Daylesford, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother 0f Flying Officer Percy John Coates (409815)

On 6 June 1944, Stirling LJ855 took off from Keevil detailed to carry out Glider operation “Mallard.” It was believed that the aircraft completed its mission in a satisfactory manner, but on the way back the aircraft was hit and crashed into the sea. The Commanding Officer of No. 299 Squadron later reported: “the route was Keevil-Bognor Regis-French coast-to the Landing Zone near Caen at a release height of 1,000 feet ASL drop containers and Tow Rope, turn and head out to sea flying 200 feet ASL. Return to the English coast and cross at 3000 feet and then to Keevil. One aircraft was seen to crash into the sea and explode soon after leaving the French coast. “

The crew members of LJ85 were:

Flying Officer Francis Allan Boyce (J/20871) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Flying Officer James Harrison Clark (J/20955) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Albert Lance Coates (418808) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ernest Henry Mills (1850853) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer I James Henry Munroe (R/125842) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Theodore Henry Schrump (J/92034) (RCAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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, 166/8/496

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