Leading Aircraftman Horace Stanley COGHLAN

Service No: 59741
Born: Brunswick VIC, 1 September 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 July 1942
Unit: No. 31 Squadron
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 31 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-117), near Peron Island NT, 4 December 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Husband of Coral Grace Coghlan, of West Brunswick, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At about 1200 hours on 4 December 1943, Beaufighters A19-117 and A19-163 took off from Coomalie on a training exercise, including air combat formation flying and gunnery on a sea marker. At 1240 hours, when the aircraft were over the sea, the leading aircraft A19-163 became the target aircraft for air combat, flying at a height of 150 feet. The Pilot of A19-117 had made about seven passes at the target aircraft, when the aircraft was seen by the Observer of A19-163 to break off to port in a nose down turn and crash into the sea, about one mile south of Peron Island off Anson Bay. A19-163 flew over the spot about 4 times but no trace of the crew was seen. A Walrus aircraft later searched the area without result.

The crew members of A9-117 were:

Leading Aircraftman Horace Stanley Coghlan (59741) (Flight Rigger, Supernumerary)
Flying Officer Neville Thomas Stubbs (423350) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Malcolm John Taylor (418772) (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, 166/8/320; A9845, 17


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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