GODFREY Davis Kirke 406647

LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant David Kirke GODFREY

Service No: 406647
Born: Mount Pleasant SA, 16 October 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 6 Squadron, operating from Seven Mile Strip, Port Moresby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 6 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-216), New Guinea area, 25 August 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Dr. Kirke Charles Godfrey and Beatrice Adelaide Godfrey, of West Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 9, Port Moresby Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Close at hand and mingling freely with the Kittyhawk pilots (at Milne Bay) were the crews and ground staff of the detached flight from No. 6 Squadron. The Hudson crews had given remarkable service with their consistently efficient long-range reconnaissance and their determined shipping attacks. The main burden had been borne by the detached flight the crews of which were captained by Squadron Leader Colquhoun (1), Flight Lieutenants Robertson (2), Manning (3), Willman (4), Flying Officer Ronald William Shore (411199) and Sergeant Stutt (5). Their ground staff had also given resolute service, their larger aircraft with greater bomb and fuel loads calling for heavy work. Bombs and fuel drums had to be manhandled from dumps that more often than not were in six or more inches of water. All the servicing was done with an intense pride in the unit and its crews. As an example, Colquhoun had the experience of six members of his ground staff competing eagerly to be allowed to take the place of a gunner who had been wounded, a problem he solved by taking each of them in turn . In August No. 6 Squadron recorded 272 hours of flying, 150 of which were spent on operational sorties. In September these totals were multiplied more than five and eight times respectively, the month’s figures being: total flying hours, 1,441; operational hours, 1,211.

(1) Air Commodore David William Colquhoun DFC AFC (O33011) (250284) was discharged from the RAAF on 31 January 1972.
(2) Squadron Leader Henry Archdale Robertson (290667) was discharged from the RAAF on 11 September 1945.
(3) Wing Commander Lucius Windsor Manning DFC (290489) was discharged from the RAAF on 3 December 1945.
(4) Squadron Leader Mervyn William MacLean Willman (260766) was discharged from the RAAF on 15 October 1945.
(5) Flight Lieutenant William John Stutt DFC (408536) was discharged from the RAAF on 10 December 1945.

Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 619

After taking off from Port Moresby on 25 August 1942, A16-216 went missing on a reconnaissance flight to Kieta and Buka. The crew members were:

Sergeant Robert Howells Dall (416178) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant David Kirke Godfrey (406674) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer John Francis Pfeiffer (403831) (Observer)
Flying Officer Walter Ralph Thompson Philipson (405500) (Pilot)

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 A705, 163/118/435; A705, 166/1/319 Part 3

Bibliography:

Eather, S. (Steve) Blue Lightning: the story of 6 Squadron 1917-2005, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007
Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992