GILLESPIE Barry William 406842

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Barrie William GILLESPIE

Service No: 406842
Born: North Fremantle WA, 11 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941
Unit: No. 31 Squadron, Coomalie Creek NT
Died: Air Operations: (No. 31 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-118), Aroe Islands, 24 July 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Roberts Gillespie and Katherine Maude Gillespie, of Beverley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 8, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

No. 31 Squadron during July carried out convoy-escort duties as well as attacking such enemy bases as Selaru airfield and the float-plane base at Taberfane. Several times during the month bad weather frustrated attempts to attack the float-planes. On 24th July twelve Beaufighters flew from Coomalie Creek to Taberfane to make an attack. Rain squalls and heavy cloud prevented effective action, as the rain on the windshields had made it impossible to shoot accurately, but four enemy aircraft were damaged. When the Beaufighters arrived at the base four of the enemy aircraft were in the air and another took off. Enemy fire damaged two Beaufighters before they set course for Milingimbi where they were to refuel, while one Beaufighter (Flying Officer Alexander John Cameron (1424) (Navigator) and Flying Officer Barrie William Gillespie (406842) (Pilot)).did not return and was presumed lost.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Pages 66-7.

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, 17

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