LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Waverley William HARRIS

Service No: 426459
Born: Brisbane QLD, 15 April 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1942
Unit: No. 143 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 143 Squadron Mosquito aircraft PZ190), off the Norwegian Coast, 11 January 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Harris, of Annerley, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 284, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 11 January 1945 Mosquito PZ190 was one of a mixed force of Beaufighter and Mosquito aircraft which took off, on an anti-shipping raid in Fleekke Fiord, Norway. The Mosquitos’ role was to provide fighter cover for the formation. PZ190 flew as Number 2 to Mosquito N248. The aircraft took off at 1230 hours and set course at 1245 hours. At 1430 hours the formation was intercepted along the Norwegian coast five miles from Lister aerodrome by 6 to 8 fighters and a general dog fight ensued, with 4 enemy aircraft destroyed. PZ190 was still in formation with his Leader immediately prior to the intercept. During the combat the Leader lost sight of his number 2 as did other crews. The Beaufighter crews reported seeing a Mosquito crash into the sea a few miles off the coast at approximately 1735 hours with no sign of survivors.  Air Sea Rescue Warwick aircraft HG209 from No. 279 Squadron (RAF) was sent out to search but it failed to return to base. Other searches found no trace of the crew of PZ190. It was presumed that PZ190 was shot down by enemy aircraft during the combat. In 1950 it was recorded that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of PZ190 were:

Flight Sergeant Waverley William Harris (426459) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Pierre Clemence Louis Smoolenaers (1424890) (RAFVR) (Pilot) (from Belgium)

The crew members of Warwick HG209 were:

Flight Sergeant William Henry Bryan (1413675) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Frederick Earl Bentley (J/93334) (RCAF)
Flying Officer George Campbell Galloway (54284) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Warrant Officer Andrew Ferguson Goodall (1558334) (RAFVR)
Warrant Officer George William Mansfield (1377933) (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant John Henry Moreton (141068) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer William James Sandercock (417420) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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, 166/17/942