HARPS-BURT Ernest Albert 441279

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Ernest Albert HARPS-BURT

Service No: 441279
Born: Kew VIC, 30 May 1925
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1943 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 9 Local Air Supply Unit, Labuan
Died: Air Operations: (No. 9 Local Air Supply Unit Beaufort aircraft A9-718), Borneo, 11 June 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Stanley Ernest and Reta Mary Harps-Burt, of Mount Hawthorn. Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 114, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 8 June, Flying Officers Woodham (1) and Harps-Burt, Flight Lieutenant Wymond (2) and Warrant Officer Royds (3), flew to Sanga Sanga, to provide anti-mosquito spraying of Labuan and other invasion areas. On 11 June 1945, Harps-Burt and his crew were killed instantly when A9-718 crashed into Bombao Island and burst into flames.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Francis Michael Beresford Woodham (O4976) was discharged from the RAAF on 19 December 1945.
(2) Flight Lieutenant Alonzo Pearce Wymond (O35997) was discharged from the RAAF on 1 November 1945.
(3) Warrant Officer John Patrick Molyneux Royds (422715) was discharged from the RAAF on 24 September 1945.

Extract from RAAF Historical Section, Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: A Concise History Volume 4 Maritime and Transport Units, Australian Government Publishing Service, 1995 – No. 9 Communication Unit (renamed No. 9 Local Air Supply Unit on 1 March 1945)

The crew of A9-718 were:

Flying Officer Ernest Albert Harps-Burt (441279) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer John Francis Mooney (415086) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer Jackie Simmonds (401857) (Navigator)

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 A9845, 265

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990