HENNESSY James 415144

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant James HENNESSY

Service No: 415144
Born: Temple-More Ireland, 13 December 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 30 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Hixon, Staffordshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 30 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft HE527), France, 23 June 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Cherbourg Old Communal Cemetery, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Patrick and Mary Hennessy, of Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, Irish Republic.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the night of the 22/23rd June 1943, Wellington HE527 took off from RAF Hixon, detailed to carry out a Nickel drop (distributing propaganda leaflets dropped through the flare chute) over Paris. The aircraft was hit by flak over Cherbourg (Manche) and crashed. Three of the crew were killed and three became Prisoners of War.

The crew members of HE527 were:

Sergeant John Anderson (1559088) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Rowland John Paul Chandler (1219494) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant R J Franklin (1331371) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Flying Officer G T Freemantle (141789) (RAF) (Navigator) PoW
Flight Sergeant W Gilroy (1562708) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant James Hennessy (415144) (Pilot)

Flying Officer Freemantle later reported: “I was compelled to abandon the aircraft after being hit by anti-aircraft fire near Cherbourg on the night of 22/23rd June. The bodies of Hennessy and two RAF crew were found in the wreckage.”

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, 166/17/192