Flying Officer James Caston DONNAN

Service No: 412120
Born: Townsville QLD, 24 July 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1941 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 86 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 86 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-371), Kambies Islands area, 20 November 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Albert and Janet Donnan; husband of Dorothy Elsie Donnan, of Milton, Queensland.
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial PNG
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 20 November 1943, Kittyhawk A29-371 flown by Flying Officer Donnan was one of a formation of aircraft returning from an operational patrol and was about 100 miles from base when it crashed at 1101 hours in the vicinity of the Kambies Islands, Dutch New Guinea. A29-371 and his No. 2 Pilot Officer John Chaster Harris (419647) (Killed: 26 June 1944) were forced to fly through heavy rain, and the No. 2 later stated that he saw A29-341 pull up until almost stalled at a height of about 400 feet when the aircraft turned on its back and disappeared in the fog. He called on the radio but had no response from A29-371. Later searches were also unsuccessful.


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, 166/10/145; A9845, 155


Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002

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