Pilot Officer Frank Desmond FINDLATER

Service No: 411762
Born: North Sydney NSW, 17 January 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 May 1941
Unit: No. 519 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 519 Squadron Hampden aircraft P5334), North Atlantic Ocean, 25 August 1943, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Arthur Frank and Edith Muriel Findlater; husband of Molly Lorraine Margaret Findlater, of Northbridge, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: North Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0935 hours on 25 August 1943, Hampden P5334 took off from Wick on a meteorological sortie to Iceland, east towards Norway and then back to base via the Faroe Islands. At 1325 hours, a distress message was received at Sullom Voe advising the P5334 was experiencing engine trouble and after this nothing further was heard.

The crew members of P5334 were:

Pilot Officer Ernest Donald Bonin (J/17220) (RCAF)
Pilot Officer Frank Desmond Findlater (411762) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant David Louis McNichol (R/114512) (RCAF)
Pilot Officer Roy Rowe (414720) (RNZAF)

No. 519 Squadron Hampden P2118 was tasked to search for P5334. In poor weather on return to base after an eight hour mission, P2118 struck the side of Ben Loyal late at night, about 50 miles from the base at Wick. One crew member is believed to have been killed in the crash, two are believed to have died before they could be rescued, and the fourth crew member was seriously injured.

The crew members of P2118 were:

Flight Sergeant Thomas Reginald Trevor Hudson-Bell (R/99900) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner) Fatally Injured, Died: 26 August 1943
Flying Officer Cecil Faulks (RAF) (Wireless Operator / Air Gunner) Seriously injured
Flight Lieutenant Henry Robert Puplett (82680) (RAFVR) (Pilot) Killed in crash (Commanding Officer, No. 519 Squadron)
Pilot Officer George William Ritchie (J/16320) (RCAF) (Navigator) Fatally Injured, Died: 26 August 1943


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 A9300, FINDLATER F D
On-Line Sources