LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Joseph COHEN

Service No: 401104
Born: Tel Aviv, Palestine, 14 February 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 160 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 160 Squadron Liberator aircraft FL939), Northern Indian Ocean, 22 September 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leon and Miriam Cohen
Roll of Honour: St Kilda VIC
Remembered: Column 429, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0237 hours on 22 September 1943 Liberator FL939 took off from Sigiriya with instructions to carry out a photographic reconnaissance of the Northern Island in the Nicobar Group including Car Nicobar. The aircraft failed to return and intelligence services passed on information on 25 September to the effect that the Japanese had broadcast a statement indicating that a Liberator had been shot down by Japanese Naval aircraft. The Japanese lost one aircraft in the engagement. No signal was sent by the Liberator although the crew were briefed to do so on sighting enemy aircraft. It is possible that they were intercepted either from Sabang or Port Blair or from a landing strip at Car Nicobar Island. It is probable that the occurrence took place between 0652 and 0725 hours.

The crew members of FL939 were:

Sergeant Fred Bloss (1016941) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Joseph Cohen (401104) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Henry Deeny (1066646) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Lloyd Allison Munson (R/73269) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Francis Edwin Naylor (572011) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Maintenance/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Arthur James Newnham Owen (1377681) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Taverner Richard Pallet (120793) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Frank Somerville (1381952) (RAFVR) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)

References:

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, 166/8/240

Bibliography:

Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982