Pilot Officer Michael Whetham EDWARDS

Service No: 407056
Born: Adelaide SA, 21 December 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF:
Unit: No. 20 Squadron, Port Moresby
Died: Air Operations (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-13), New Guinea, 24 February 1942, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Warren and Stephanie Edwards, of Adelaide, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 34, Rabaul Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

Pilot Officer Edwards may be shown twice on the Catalina Base Memorial and on the Rathmines Bowling Club Wall against both No. 11 and 20 Squadrons.

The demands made on the Catalina crews of Nos. 11 and 20 Squadrons continued, with repeated night attacks on Rabaul and long-range reconnaissance flights. On the night of 24th February Flight Lieutenant Beaumont and his crew failed to return from a raid on Rabaul and Flying Officer Bolitho (1) and his crew had a close call when the failure of one engine forced the flying-boat down to within 200 feet of the ground and it was saved only by jettisoning the bomb-load.

(1) Wing Commander William Keith Bolitho DFC (O4401 (407016)) was discharged from the RAAF in the post-war period.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 453

The crew members of A24-13 were:

Corporal Raymond James Adams (5463) (Fitter IIE)
Squadron Leader Ernest Victor Beaumont (260) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Maxwell Dawson Raymond Berghouse (14840) (Fitter IIE)
Pilot Officer Michael Whetham Edwards (407056) (Second Pilot)
Aircraftman Class 1 Leonard Leslie Farrands (13829) (Armourer)
Leading Aircraftman Cyril Grainger (32040) (Fitter IIA)
Leading Aircraftman George Lancelot Formby (9031) (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Raymond John Richardson (401017) (Wireless Air Gunner)


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 A705, 163/29/32
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


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

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