LEST WE FORGET

Leading Aircraftman Douglas Euan HADDOW

Service No: 149300
Born: Heidelberg VIC, 27 April 1926
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 May 1944
Unit: No. 3 Reserve Pool
Died: Ground Accident, Biak, 29 August 1945, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alexander Hastings Miller Haddow and Sophia Elizabeth Haddow, of Heidelberg, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Heidelberg VIC
Remembered: Panel 7, Lae Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 115, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 29 August 1945, Leading Aircraftman Haddow a Steward, and Corporal Reginald Ernest Cheslett (149716) set out in a rubber dinghy to a diving raft situated about 300 yards from the shore below the RAAF transit camp at Biak. When returning from the raft the dinghy was accidentally overturned about 20 yards from the raft, and drifted away from them both. Corporal Chelett went to assist Haddow who could not swim and succeeded in getting him on to a small rock. As it could only support one person, Cheslett who at this time was very weak swam to another rock about 10 yards away and rested for a period. He then commenced to swim towards Haddow, and he saw Haddow either jump or fall off the rock, come to the top of the water and then sink. Chelett searched but could not find him. Other searches could not locate Leading Aircraftman Haddow and it was presumed that he had drowned.

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, 166/17/1405
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line