LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Austin George DURST

Service No: 408641
Born: Hampton VIC, 9 June 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1941
Unit: No. 3 Operational Training Unit, RAAF Station Rathmines, NSW
Died: Air Operations (No. 3 Operational Training Unit Catalina aircraft IB279), South Pacific area, 4 February 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Richard and Edith Durst; husband of Kathleen Georgina Durst, of Mont Albert, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: Box Hill VIC
Remembered: Panel 9, Port Moresby Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On 4 February 1944, Catalina aircraft IB279 went missing on a ferry flight between Suva, Fiji and Rathmines. The missing crew members are:

Sergeant William George Drew (24534) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Austin George Durst (408641) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Robert Maxwell Hamilton (408990) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer Geoffrey Ireland (16737) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Peter Lionel Barrett Marsh DFC (408191) (Pilot)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 150
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991