LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Vincent Bernard Joseph FINN

Service No: 411763
Born: Waterloo NSW, 19 December 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 May 1941
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Leuchars, Fifeshire Scotland
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Hampden aircraft AE378), Norway, 15 August 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Edward and Mary Mildred Finn, of Waterloo, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Tobruk Reserve Memorial, Waterloo NSW

Ten Hampdens (of No. 455 Squadron) were detached to Benbecula (Scotland) on 5th August (1943) to conduct anti-submarine patrols, three aircraft flying that day over the Faeroe – Shetlands channel and landing at Reykjavik in Iceland, returning to Wick (Scotland) the following day after a similar patrol. The Benbecula detachment was cancelled on 8th August when six junior crews were sent to Tain (Scotland) for specific torpedo-strike training, while the other crews turned once more to their old Norwegian hunting grounds, attempting in all fifty sorties in that area for the disappointing result of one bombing and one torpedo attack.

Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 616

Hampden AE 378 took off from RAF Leuchars at 0059 hours on the night of 14/15th August 1943 to carry out a shipping reconnaissance in the Leads, Fjords and Anchorages on the Norwegian coast between 2100 and 0400 hours. AE378 was one of three aircraft from the Squadron that took part in the reconnaissance and AE 378 failed to return to base. One of the aircraft Hampden ‘S’ saw what appeared to be the wreckage of a burning aircraft in the Romsdals Fjord, Norway.

The crew members of AE378 were:

Warrant Officer Colin Blair Campbell (406431) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Vincent Bernard Joseph Finn (411763) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Richard Thomas Edwin Latham (124933) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Edward Marriott (551777) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

References:

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9300, FINN V B J
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951