Flight Sergeant Frederick Wentworth EARP

Service No: 403325
Born: Penrith NSW, 23 November 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: 93rd Bomber Squadron (USAAF)
Awarded the United States Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Died: Air Operations: (93rd Bomber Squadron B17 aircraft 41-2429), New Britain area, 7 August 1942, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Rabaul (Bita Paka) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arnold Wentworth Earp and Coral Earp, of Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Penrith NSW
Remembered: Panel 134, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Penrith City Memory Park, Penrith NSW

DSC Citation: “For extraordinary heroism in action between Queensland, Australia and Rabaul, New Britain on August 6-7 1942. When the airplane, in which he was co-pilot returned to its base in Queensland, Australia, from a bombing mission at Lae, New Guinea because of a disabled engine, Flight Sergeant Earp knowing that his Group was to execute on the following day an important mission in which every available airplane was essential, volunteered to accompany his airplane commander on this mission in an airplane which had been declared unserviceable for combat duty. Rejoining his Squadron at Port Moresby after having flown almost continuously during the preceding nineteen hours, he took off, after only three hours rest, in a mass attack by his group on an enemy occupied airdrome near Rabaul, New Britain. Despite interception by about 30 enemy fighters as the target was approached, the group made a highly successful bombing attack. During the hostile fighter action, the airplane in which Flight Sergeant Earp was a crew member, was on the wing which bore the brunt of the enemy attack lasting for twenty five minutes. It was observed to drop a blazing bomb bay tank and fall behind the formation. It did not return to its base.”

On 7 August 1942, B-17 41-2429 was believed shot down off Rabaul after successfully attacking Vunakanau Airfield. All crew members were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross with the exception of Captain Pease who was awarded the Medal of Honor.

The crew members of 41-2429 were:

Sergeant David W Brown (6296430) (Gunner)
First Lieutenant Robert Bruce Burleson (O-412726) (Bombardier)
Sergeant Chester M Czechowski (6915712) (Gunner) PoW (Executed)
Flight Sergeant Frederick Wentworth Earp (403325) (Co-Pilot)
Sergeant Alvar A Liimatainen (160292712) (Radio Operator)
Staff Sergeant Rex E Matson (6657964) (Engineer)
Sergeant Fred W Oettel (19048522) (Crew Member)
Captain Harl Pease Jr (O-395206) (Pilot) PoW (Executed) Awarded the US Medal of Honor
Second Lieutenant Richard M Wood (O-433151) (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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301 Barcode 5523302
PacificWrecks.com Website
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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