Flying Officer David John FORREST MID

Service No: 406837
Born: Perth WA, 16 April 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 100 Squadron, Vivigani PNG
Died: Air Operations: (No. 100 Squadron Beaufort aircraft A9-188) Gasmata, New Guinea, 21 May 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Mervyn and Agnes Forrest, of Perth, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 34, Rabaul Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Honour Avenues, Kings Park WA

MID Citation: “Flying Officer Forrest was posted to No 100 (Torpedo) Squadron in July 1942 and has been actively engaged in operations against the enemy for nine months. He has completed 225 hours of operational flying which includes 39 sorties and 14 strikes. He has shown exceptional skill and determination in the face of adverse weather conditions and has pressed home his attacks against enemy targets with courage and aggressiveness. Acting as flight commander in the absence of the commander and also as flight sub-leader, Flying Officer Forrest has displayed excellent qualities of judgement and leadership, and his devotion to duty has been an example to the squadron.”

On 17th May the Vivigani airfield was used for the first time for a mission against the enemy, when six Beauforts of No. 100 Squadron, led by Flight Lieutenant Parsons (1), landed there from Gurney airfield (Milne Bay) in the afternoon and took off again at 11 .15 p.m. for a night attack on the Gasmata airfields and supply dumps. The attack was successful and was repeated two days later when eight Beauforts led by Squadron Leader Smibert (2), again attacked Gasmata, dropping twelve tons of general purpose and incendiary bombs in the target area. One of the Beauforts (captained by Flying Officer Forrest) failed to return. The following day seven Beauforts with fighter cover provided by eight Kittyhawks of No. 77 Squadron, led by Cresswell (3), searched without success for the missing Beaufort.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Leonard Ernest Henry Parsons DFC (250826) was discharged from the RAAF on 27 September 1945.
(2) Wing Commander John Anketell Smibert (250276) was discharged from the RAAF on 4 December 1945.
(3) Wing Commander Richard Cresswell DFC (O383) was discharged from the RAAF on 30 April 1957.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 32

The crew members of A9-188 were:

Flying Officer David John Forrest MID (406837) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant James Henry Hatfield (412063) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Kenneth Gladstone Holmes (405017) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Noel Loveday (405049) (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, 166/14/46


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

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