HALBERT James Bruce 406006

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer James Bruce HALBERT

Service No: 406006
Born: Cunderdin WA, 11 March 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 April 1940
Unit: No. 203 Squadron (RAF), Landing Ground 39, Libya
Died: (No. 203 Squadron Maryland aircraft AH298), Mediterranean, 15 April 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James and Elsie Halbert; husband of Myra Joyce Halbert, of Cunderdin, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Cunderdin WA
Remembered: Column 264, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Maryland AH298 of 203 Squadron took off at 0700 hours on 15 April 1942, to shadow an enemy convoy in the Mediterranean. During this patrol an enemy convoy was sighted near Malta and shadowed until 1245 hours, when a message was received from the aircraft giving an estimated time of arrival (ETA) Malta of 1315 hours. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft which did not return to base. It is possible that it was shot down into the sea as a large number of enemy aircraft were operating in the area at the time. It was concluded that the aircraft and crew were lost at sea.

The crew members of AH298 were:

Flight Sergeant Norman Gordon (755901) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer James Bruce Halbert (406006) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Herbert Rogers (404042) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Eric Neville Somerville (402069) (Observer)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/35/178

Bibliography:

Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002