HESKETH Harold Thomas 29468

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Harold Thomas HESKETH

Service No: 29468
Born: Midland Junction WA, 5 November 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 December 1940
Unit: No. 619 Squadron (RAF), RAF Strubby, Lincolnshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 619 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME314), Germany, 8 February 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Richard and Myrtle Annie Edith Hesketh; husband of Winifred Joan Hesketh, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster ME314 of No 619 Squadron took off from RAF Station Strubby at 1709 hours on 8 February 1945 to attack oil plants at Politz, Germany. The aircraft did not return to base and nothing further was heard after take off. In a 1948 report by the Missing Research & Enquiry service, it stated “the aircraft crashed in a pine forest at Koblenz. It had exploded on impact and caught fire on the night of 8/9th February, 1945.” Nearby was the grave of Flight Sergeant Moyle and a second body which could not be identified. Flight Sergeant Marsh became a Prisoner of War but no trace of the remains of other members of the crew could be found.

The crew members of ME314 were:

Sergeant Thomas Henry Fullwood (1102518) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Harold Thomas Hesketh (29468) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Roy Albert Hudson (154277) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant James Livingstone MacDonald (K/264905) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant L E Marsh (R/257967) (RCAF) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant Joseph Francis Edward Moyle (J/95543) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Albert Christopher St Leger (1259898) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

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, 166/17/1039