LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Peter Paul HANDFIELD

Service No: 402181
Born: Hampton VIC, 31 March 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 203 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 203 Squadron Maryland aircraft AR725), Central Mediterranean, 15 February 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Theodore Louis Hopton Handfield and Muriel Elizabeth Handfield, of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sandringham VIC
Remembered: Column 266, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1032 hours on 15 February 1942 Maryland AR725 left Landing Ground 39 for Malta. At 1345 hours Malta gave a third class bearing to the aircraft and a course to steer, but the aircraft failed to reach Malta. A message was received from 201 Group at 0805 hours on 16 February that an aircraft had been shot down and there were no survivors. In 1948 it was recorded that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of AR725 were:

Sergeant Jack Ernest Checkley (644663) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Peter Paul Handfield (402181) (Observer)
Sergeant Edwin George Holloway (404105) (Pilot)
Sergeant James Richard Welsh (920447) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)

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, 163/120/377