Corporal Harry FREEMAN

Service No: 25093
Born: Yeppoon QLD, 26 June 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 June 1940
Unit: No. 462 Squadron, Terria, Cyrenaica
Died: Ground Accident: Terria, 20 November 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harry and Emma Freeman; husband of Alice Elizabeth Freeman, of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Rockhampton QLD
Remembered: Panel 109, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

During the afternoon of 20 November 1943 while the aircraft were being bombed up for the night’s operations, at about 1500 hours a loud explosion was heard and volumes of black smoke were seen in the vicinity of dispersals. Fears that the Squadron had suffered a similar blow to that which occurred at Gardabia Main on 20 April 1943 were soon confirmed.

Halifax BB443 had been destroyed while being bombed up and the death roll was feared to be heavy. All sections had a roll call and the following Squadron members were found to have lost their lives:

Corporal Stanley Clegg (800655) (RAF) (Armourer)
Corporal John George Durdey (1575433) (RAFVR) (Fitter 2E)
Corporal Harry Freeman (25093) (Fitter 2A)
Flight Sergeant Hugh Gold (972695) (RAFVR) (Armourer/B)
Leading Aircraftman Charles Bruce Ratcliffe (1534083) (RAFVR) (Armourer/B)
Aircraftman Class 2 Richard David Reynolds (1019105) (RAFVR) (Instruments/Rep II)
Leading Aircraftman Charles William Robins (1129972) (RAFVR) (Fitter ME)
Leading Aircraftman Harold Thomas T Roper (1275304) (RAFVR) (Electrician II)
Sergeant Robert Ruston (543587) (RAFVR) (Fitter 2E)
Corporal John Oag Shedden (1012766) (RAFVR) (Armourer)
Leading Aircraftman John Leonard Smith (932304) (RAFVR) (Electrician I)

The night’s operations were cancelled.


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 A705, 166/14/125