Flight Sergeant John Alfred DAY

Service No: 431092
Born: Wodonga VIC, 27 February 1925
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 May 1943
Unit: No. 627 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 627 Squadron Mosquito aircraft DZ599), North Sea, 28 March 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Ray Day and Christina Mary Day, of Murrumbeena, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Benalla VIC
Remembered: Panel 284, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 28 March 1945 Mosquito DZ599 took off to carry out a mining operation in the Elbe River, Germany. Shortly after crossing the coast on the return trip to base, DZ 599 was subject to light anti-aircraft fire as were other aircraft on the same mission. The pilot of DZ 599 was heard to say that he was going to land in the sea. Nothing further was heard from DZ 599, and the aircraft did not return to base.

The crew members of DZ599 were:

Flying Officer W A Barnett (413929) (RNZAF) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Alfred Day (431092) (Navigator / Bomb Aimer)

Flying Officer Barnett who was rescued and returned safely to England reported “I was forced to ditch the aircraft slightly due west of Heligoland, due to engine failure. The ditching was fairly successful, and we both managed to get out of the aircraft through the escape hatch. The dinghy had not released, and they then had to use their K type dinghies. Flight Sergeant Day had not been able to recover his dinghy from the aircraft, and I endeavoured to get him into my dinghy but was unable to do so because of the extreme cold. Flight Sergeant Day managed to get on to the wing of the aircraft but this was not secure, and he slipped away from the aircraft and is presumed to have drowned.” In 1949 it was recorded that Flight Sergeant Day had lost his life at sea.


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, 166/9/578

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