LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Hugh Gavin FRASER

Service No: 402051
Born: Melbourne VIC, 9 April 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 April 1940 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 206 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 206 Squadron Hudson aircraft AM604), Ireland, 1 January 1942, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Killead (St Catherine) Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Antrim
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Andrew Currie Fraser and Beatrice Irene Fraser, of Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Sergeant Harris Robert Fraser (401791)

On 29 September 1940, Pilot Officer Fraser was involved in an aircraft accident in which Flying Officer Leonard Graham Fuller DFM (402052) landed two Wirraway aircraft that had become locked together in an airborne collision.

On 1 January 1942 Hudson AM604 took off from RAF Station Aldergrove, Headquarters Coastal Command, took off on a non-operational aerodrome defence exercise. The aircraft struck some trees with its starboard wing, landed upside down and was set on fire by the impact. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of AM604 were:

Sergeant Archibald Dethridge Campbell (400858) (Observer)
Pilot Officer Hugh Gavin Fraser (402051) (Pilot)
Sergeant Philip Alexander Fry (920055) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Geoffrey Taylor Kettle (913612) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

At a later Court of Inquiry, the Station Commander RAF Aldergrove stated: “The Pilots in Squadron Leader Hennock’s Flight, were ordered to follow the Flight Leader in echelon starboard. He gave all the necessary orders required by any reasonable pilot. The aircraft hit trees as a result of an error of judgement by Fraser in flying too low or diving too close to the ground.” The Air Vice Marshal Commanding No 15 Group RAF stated: “had Fraser conformed normally to the manoeuvres of the Flight Commander as was done by the second aircraft in the formation, the accident would not have occurred.”

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/113/163