LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant James Graeme HEERS

Service No: 405409
Born: Toogoolawah QLD, 5 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 March 1941
Unit: No. 86 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 86 Squadron Liberator aircraft FK237), Sussex, 28 February 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: West Thornley (St Nicholas) Churchyard, Sussex
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Edward and Janet Heers, of Clayfield, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 28 February 1943 Liberator FK237 was on an Special Equipment and instrument test flight during which the pilot found that the elevator controls were locked through the port dinghy becoming released and wrapping itself around the stabilizer and tail plane. At 1600 hours the plane crashed at Old Idsworth Farm, Compton. Four of the crew members were killed and the others on board injured.

On board Liberator FK237 were:

Corporal A Cragg (577496) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured
Aircraftman Class II K W Crick (1717455) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured
Flying Officer J Dickie (110217) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured
Aircraftman Class I A Duncan (640663) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured
Sergeant C R Ellett (915698) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured
Flight Sergeant James Graeme Heers (405409) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant J M Leslie (1346156) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot) Injured
Leading Aircraftman William Lewis Melville (1015051) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary)
Aircraftman Class I William Francis Taberner (1490854) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary)
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Oswald White (406338) (Second Wireless Operator) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 December 1945
Pilot Officer Samuel White (137584) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Desmond Clive Simson Williams (405613) (Pilot) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 27 March 1946
Aircraftman Class I D Wright (1505782) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary) Injured

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, 166/17/72

Bibliography:

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