HARRIS Donald 415529

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Donald HARRIS

Service No: 415529
Born: Mosman Park WA, 25 March 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1941
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth
Died: Air Operations: (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DV 969), Atlantic Ocean, 21 September 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward Percy and Isabel Mary Harris, of Mosman Park, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 192, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On 21 September a Sunderland of No. 10 transmitted an incomplete combat report and then failed to return to Mount Batten. A wide search for this aircraft revealed no trace of survivors, although earlier in the month both Australian squadrons (Nos 10 and 461) had spent an appreciable number of patrols in successful air-sea rescue operations for other airmen lost in similar circumstances. In each case the final rescue was effected by naval vessels directed to the scene after intervals varying from a few hours to several days, during which time the Sunderlands kept in continuous contact with the dinghies.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 620-1

The crew members of DV 969 were:

Flying Officer Alfred Neil Buckland (420612) (First Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Colin Stewart Cameron (422410) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Albert Lawrence Coomes (401768) (Navigator)
Sergeant James David Thomas Daley (419929) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Arthur William Morphett Gunson (417178) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Donald Harris (415529) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Alexander Glenn Jennison (409000) (Pilot)
Sergeant Jack Thomas Law (17383) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Sydney Charles Edwin Leech (19458) (Fitter IIE)
Flight Sergeant Norman Douglas Kerr Swinton (408319) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Lawrence Ernest Waddington (408410) (Wireless 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/17/314
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992