Flight Sergeant Murray FAIRBAIRN

Service No: 409528
Born: Lyndhurst VIC, 20 December 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 September 1941
Unit: No. 100 Squadron, Goodenough Island
Died: Air Operations: (No. 100 Squadron Beaufort aircraft A9-211), New Guinea, 14 December 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Stanley Fairbairn and Lily Jane Fairbairn, of Frankston, Victoria.
Roll of Honour: Frankston VIC
Remembered: Panel 7, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

As the day of the assault approached No. 9 Group increased its pressure on the airfields at Rabaul. The maximum number of Beauforts was sent to bomb Lakunai on 13th December, and the night before the landing (14 December) thirty Beauforts were again attacking this target.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 126

No. 100 Squadron Beaufort A9-211 went missing on operations from Vivigani airfield on 14 December 1943. The crew members were:

Flight Sergeant Thomas Burrowes (409504) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur John Davies (427446) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Murray Fairbairn (409528) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Eardley Kenny (415663) (Pilot)

An extensive search for the missing aircraft and crew was carried by a RAAF Search party in 1946. This included interrogation of natives and Japanese, as well as the examination of Japanese records. No trace of the missing aircraft or crew was found. It was considered that the aircraft had probably crashed into the sea.

Later that evening, Beaufort A9-472 was destroyed on return to base, killing Flying Officer Wilfred Jackson (408522).


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, 248


Graham, B. (Burton) and Frank Smyth, A Nation Grew Wings: The Story of the RAAF Beaufort Squadrons in New Guinea, Winterset House Publishers Melbourne VIC, 1946
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

Book Now Book Now