LEST WE FORGET

Squadron Leader James Robert HYDE DFC

From Australia serving in the Royal Air Force

Service No: 42130 (RAF)
Born: Location, Date unavailable
Enlisted in the RAF: 1939
Unit: No. 86 Squadron (RAF)
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) (Notification 28 March 1941)
Died: Air Operations: Mediterranean Struggle 1942 (No. 86 Squadron Beaufort aircraft AW355), Greece, 24 July 1942, Age unavailable
Buried: Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece
CWGC Additional Information: No additional information
Roll of Honour: Unknown

Squadron Leader Hyde was an Australian Cadet accepted for training by the RAF who embarked for the UK on 9 March 1939.

On the morning of 24 July 1942 Beaufort AW355 was detailed as one of three Beauforts forming the first sub flight of 6 Beauforts to attack an enemy convoy near Cephalonia, Greece. About 2 miles from the convoy anti-aircraft fire was encountered. One Beaufort was seen to blow up in mid- air and another was thought to have crashed in the sea near the convoy. A third Beaufort which was hit in the port engine, set course away from the convoy but with the other engine stopping, the aircraft force landed in the sea 2 to 3 miles from the convoy. One man was seen in a dinghy and three others in the water. AW355 failed to return from the above mission, but it could not be established which of the above three aircraft was AW355.

The crew members of AW355 were:

Squadron Leader James Robert Hyde DFC (42130) (RAF) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer William Alan Lowing (402449) (Observer)
Sergeant Ellis Sarene (1260365) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant Rowland Clifford West (1375371) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

On this mission, No. 86 Squadron also lost Beaufort AQ308 from which Flight Lieutenant Donald Linden Furphy (402159) became a Prisoner of War.

References:

Australian War Memorial 65, 2783
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/139/61 (Crew Casualty Message on Pilot Officer Lowing’s Casualty File lists Squadron Leader Hyde’s father as Mr H Hyde, “Roseneath”, Woodland Street, Essendon VIC)
Newton, Dennis A Few of the Few: Australians and the Battle of Britain, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT 2600, 1990