Warrant Officer William John DOUDE

Service No: 403915
Born: Melbourne VIC, 25 August 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 March 1941 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 458 Squadron, Bone, Algeria
Died: Air Operations: (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft Radio Call Sign FU-C (HZ755)), Mediterranean, 17 October 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William John and Elizabeth Doude; husband of Mavis Lilian Doude, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Throughout October North-West African Air Forces had flown an average of 900 sorties each day despite consistently adverse weather. The heavy bombers had begun participation in the combined bomber offensive by an attack against Wiener Neustadt (Austria), but most of the heavy and medium-bomber effort was still expended against airfields and communications in northern Italy. The light bombers and fighter-bombers hammered at areas in the immediate enemy rear, at times, as in the Volturno battles, assisted by the medium bombers. The Coastal Air Force (including No. 458 Squadron) still searched for enemy shipping, protected friendly convoys, and undertook the defence of Allied ports, thus releasing the Tactical Air Force for entirely offensive operations.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 67

The large number of U-boats now being put along the Allied shipping lanes by Germany is illustrated by the number of separate U-boat hunts carried out between 10th and 18th October: Hunts were concentrated in this short period in the sea areas around western Sicily, the south-west of Ischia, south of Salerno, north of Bougie, Cap de Fer, Cap Bougeron, and north of Djidjelli. A crew captained by Warrant Officer Doude was lost at sea at this time on a U-boat hunt north of Cap de Fer. Air-sea rescue operations by 36 Squadron, based at Elida, near Algiers, did not succeed in finding any survivors.

Extract from Alexander, P. (Peter) We Find and Destroy: history of No. 458 Squadron, The 458 Squadron Council, 1959 – Pages 134-5

Wellington Call Sign FU – C took off from RAF Bone, Algeria, at 1713 hours on 17 October 1943 on a U boat hunt north of Cap De Fer. A message was received from the aircraft at 1926 hours WJR ‘returning to base with engine trouble’ position 37.40N 06.00E. Nothing further was heard and the aircraft failed to return. Base called for some considerable time without success. Air Sea Rescue operations commenced. At 2057 hours a message was received from a No. 38 Squadron (RAF) aircraft ‘over burning wreckage 37.39N 06.52E.’

The crew members of Wellington call sign FU-C (HZ755) were:

Warrant Officer Clement Cyril Dacey (406591) (Navigator)
Warrant Officer William John Doude (403915) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Gordon John Gebbie (409686) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant William Harvey Milne (657704) (RAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Robert Musgrove (1025192) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant William Bernard Ralph (1117324) (RAFVR) (Special Equipment (Radar) Operator)
Flying Officer Ernest Edward Tatt (144087) (RAFVR) (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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/10/127


Alexander, P. (Peter) We Find and Destroy: history of No. 458 Squadron, The 458 Squadron Council, 1959

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