LEST WE FORGET
Flying Officer Francis Lawrence HANN
Service No: 411448
Born: Cairns QLD, 25 November 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 80 Squadron
Died: Prisoner of War (Executed) (from the loss of No. 80 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-508 on 13 January 1945, Talaud Islands, 23 March 1945, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Ethel Maud Hann, of Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
On 13 January 1945, Flying Officer Hann in Kittyhawk A29-508 went missing on a ferry flight between Noemfoor and Morotai via Middleberg Island. He was in one of four aircraft that failed to arrive at their destination. Extensive searches failed to find any trace of the four aircraft and pilots.
It was believed that the formation ran into bad weather and ran out of petrol.
The four missing pilots were:
Flying Officer Francis Lawrence Hann (411448) (Pilot) A29-508 POW: Executed 23 March 1945
Flight Sergeant Leon Newman King (434344) (Pilot) A29-635 POW: Executed 23 March 1945
Flight Sergeant Ronald Wilfred Parry (434265) (Pilot) A29-668 Missing: 13 January 1945
Warrant Officer Peter Waters (410186) (Pilot) A29-630 POW: Executed 23 March 1945
Flight Sergeant King in A29-635 crashed into the sea 50 kms east of Karakeran Island at 1800 hours on 13 January 1945. He was apprehended by a native boat in which there was a Japanese soldier, 65 miles north east of Karakeran Island at 1600 hours on 19 January 1945, and recovered by Japanese Headquarters on 22 January 1945.
Flying Officer Hann in A29-508 crashed 5 kms off shore from Boendaroe Village on the south-west comer of Karakelang Island at 1800 hours on 3 January 1945. He was apprehended by the Chief of the Village of Boendaroe at approximately 2000 hours, and turned over to the Japanese five days later.
Warrant Officer Waters in A29-630 landed off shore of March Island southernmost of the Manusa Group to the north and east of Karakeland at 1800 hours on 13 January 1945. On 18 January 1945, he was recovered by Japanese Headquarters (BEO) and was a Prisoner.
No trace was found of Flight Sergeant Parry in A29-668, and it was believed that he had made a forced landing in the sea, on 13 January 1945.
On 23 March 1945, Flight Sergeant King, Flying Officer Hann and Warrant Officer Waters were executed by the Japanese at Beo on Talaud Islands.
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, 166/17/951; A9845, 159