GAUNT Henry Harrington 406899

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Henry Harrington GAUNT

Service No: 406899
Born: Albany WA, 1 March 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 May 1941
Unit: No. 31 Squadron, Coomalie Creek NT
Died: Air Operations: (No. 31 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-145), NT area, 21 November 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Sydney Harrington Gaunt and Mary Howell Gaunt; husband of Lesley Andree Gaunt, of Kojonup, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kojonup WA
Remembered: Panel 9, Northern Territory Memorial, Adelaide River NT
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 21 November, six Beaufighters escorted six Mitchells at Maikoor to act as top cover over the target area. The fighter defence was active. Going to the aid of Gerdes and McMillan, who were flying A19-36, Gordon made a head-on attack on a Rufe. As he closed to 100 metres, it did a half
roll and dived away. Gordon put A19-140 into an aileron turn in an attempt to follow it, but the Rufe crashed 500 metres off shore. Almost immediately another one crashed near the same spot, having been shot down by Ferguson and Blades from A19-16. Although all returned to Milingimbi to refuel, Gaunt and Jones went missing between there and Coomalie. No trace was found of A19-145.

Extract from Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed Terry Hills NSW, 1980 – Page 46

The crew of A19-145 was Flight Sergeant Henry Harrington Gaunt (406889) (Pilot) and Pilot Officer Trevor John Jones (425671) (Navigator).

References:

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 A9845, 19

Bibliography:

Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed, Terry Hills NSW, 1980
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990