LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer David Philip Lee HAWKINS

Service No: 413487
Born: Bronte NSW, 19 February 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1941
Unit: No. 206 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Leuchars
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 206 Squadron Liberator aircraft BV887), North Sea, 2 December 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Vivian H. and Rachael Elvira Hawkins, of Brookvale, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brookvale NSW
Remembered: Panel 258, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Manly ANZAC War Memorial, Manly NSW

On 2 December 1944 Liberator BV887 from took off from Leuchars on a radar night training exercise to be conducted off the Bell Rock area in the North Sea approximately 25 miles east of Dundee, Scotland. The night was bright moonlight. When about 7 miles from the aerodrome, the aircraft appeared to catch fire and according to a Coast Guard witness, he estimates that it flew for about 5 miles, with the fire getting worse. A distress message was transmitted and immediately after the aircraft plunged into the sea at approximately 2050 hours. A high speed launch and two life boats searched for survivors for 36 hours with no result.

The crew members of BV887 were:

Flying Officer Norman Atkinson (161620) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Pilot Officer William Charters (184685) (RAFVR) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)
Flight Lieutenant Kenneth George Elliott (82190) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer I Frederick Russell Hall (R/129181) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Squadron Leader Robert Howard Harper DFC (41177) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer David Philip Lee Hawkins (413487) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Sergeant George Stanley Marshall (1337473) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flight Sergeant Roberts Peats (1685242) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Stewart Tulloch (J/28996) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer Eric Andrew Walker (1310806) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air)

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, 166/171/878
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn, Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996