LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer Lewis Clement DE GARIS

Service No: 417164
Born: Naracoorte SA, 19 February 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 251 Squadron (RAF), Reykjavik, Iceland
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 251 Squadron Hudson aircraft FH381), Iceland, 16 July 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Reykjavik (Fossvogur) Cemetery, Iceland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert Clement De Garis and Edith Margaret De Garis, of Naracoorte, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Naracoorte SA
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Hudson FH381 took off from Reykjavik at 0202 hours on 16th July 1944, on a meteorological reconnaissance sortie. The takeoff appeared normal and was seen a few minutes later some 3 miles off the airfield flying straight on an easterly course at about 500 feet. The aircraft was then seen to bank violently to the left. It was presumed the aircraft had stalled and had dived into the ground out of control. It appeared that the aircraft had crashed as a result of loss of control caused by the stall. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of FH381 were:

Flight Sergeant Benjamin George Blatch (420524) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Donald Henry Bowdidge (1272398) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air)
Warrant Officer Lewis Clement De Garis (417164) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Lieutenant Charles Alan Pain (123001) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Rayner Winterburn (1439949) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/9/355