LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Gordon Allan HENRY

Service No: 428312
Born: Parkville VIC, 5 October 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1942
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Station Dallachy
Died: Air Operations: (No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NT915), North Sea, 1 November 1944, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Percy Alexander Henry and Laurel Bertha Henry; husband of Jean Melita Henry
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 260, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Beaufighter NT915 took off from Dallachy at 0531 hours on 1 November 1944 to carry out an armed reconnaissance from Obrestadt to Kristiansand at an average height of 300 feet. Eleven aircraft from the Squadron took part in the sortie and one of these NT915 failed to return.  In addition to the No. 455 Squadron aircraft, 5 Torpedo Beaufort aircraft and 6 anti-flak Beaufighters from No. 489 Squadron RNZAF made up the Force. The Force set course at 0541 hours and about 1.5 hours later were circling in formation over a ‘Drem’ system of lighting, when NT915 of No. 455 Squadron and ‘W’ of No. 489 Squadron were seen to collide. The aircraft broke away and the starboard one thought to be ‘W/489’ did a stalling turn and dived into the sea. The other aircraft NT915 trailing smoke disappeared into the darkness and was not seen again. Warwick Air-Sea Rescue aircraft were contacted and searched but no trace of the missing crew was found.

The crew members of NT915 were:

Flying Officer George Hardy De Beauvoir Hammond (424756) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Gordon Allan Henry (428312) (Navigator Wireless)

The crew members of the No. 489 Squadron Beaufighter were:

Flight Sergeant Wilfred Reed Garrison (1454822) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Edward Hughes (1800373) (RAFVR)

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, 166/17/814

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951