HAWTER Edward Horace 406129

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Edgar Horace HAWTER

Service No: 406129
Born: Donnybrook WA, 5 June 1904
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1940
Unit: 13th Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group USAAF (United States Army Air Force)
Died: Air Operations: (13th Squadron B-25C Mitchell aircraft 41-12792), south of Buna, Papua, 26 July 1942, Aged 38 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Jacob and Edith Miriam Hawter, of Mullalyup, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Vicksburg National Cemetery, Mississippi, US
Remembered: Panel 134, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Five USAAF Mitchell aircraft from the 3rd Bombardment group took off from APO 929 (Port Moresby) to attack Japanese flying boats at Gasmata, New Guinea. No attack was made and bombs were jettisoned when 15 Japanese zero-type fighters intercepted the aircraft in the vicinity of Gona mission. Two Mitchells were lost. Mitchell 41-12740 was last seen burning fiercely from nose to tail and two crew members were seen parachuting from the aircraft. Mitchell 41-12792 crashed 20 kms south east of Buna. Three bodies were found in the wreckage and three baled out including Sergeant Hamilton who is recorded as missing.

The crew members of 41-12792 were:

Captain Frank P Bender (O-403818) (Pilot) Baled Our, Safe
Flight Sergeant Edgar Horace Hawter (406129) (Co-Pilot)
Sergeant Ian Chetwood Hamilton (405378) (Lower Gunner) Baled Out, Killed
Sergeant Vernon McBroom (14006568) (Aerial Engineer)
Sergeant Robert T Middleton (7002713) (Bombardier)
Technical Sergeant Arnold M Thompson (39158999) (Upper Gunner) Baled Out, Safe

90th Squadron, 3rd Bombardment Group lost Mitchell 41-12740 (Flying Officer Edward Tompson Mobsby (407799) (Co-Pilot)) on 26 July 1942.

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 A705, 166/17/827
PacificWrecks.com Website

Note: These is an inconsistency between records as the narrative of the events (produced by the USAAF in 1945 and available on-line through the NAA) records that Flight Sergeant Hawter’s body was in the aircraft wreckage and that Sergeant Hamilton was missing after baling out. CWGC records have Flight Sergeant Hawter missing and Sergeant Hamilton buried at Port Moresby.