Flight Sergeant Alan Francis JOYCE

Service No: 417848
Born: Adelaide SA, 5 February 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1942
Unit: No. 148 Squadron (RAF), Brindisi, Italy
Died: Air Operations (No. 148 Squadron Halifax aircraft JP239), off the Italian Coast, 30 July 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur and Eliza May Joyce, of Unley, South Australia. Dip. Commerce.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 16, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 124, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Halifax JP239 of No. 148 Squadron took off from Brindisi Airfield at 1750 hours on 30 July 1944 to carry out a special operation in North West Italy. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Another aircraft reported seeing an aircraft going down in flames in approximate position 43.39N, 04.42E.

The crew members of JP239 were:

Flying Officer Peter William Clifford (150370) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Brown Humphrey (991460) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant J A Humble (R/192008) (RCAF) (Air Gunner) Rescued
Flight Sergeant Alan Francis Joyce (417848) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Robert William MacCormick (1494970) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flying Officer John Reginald Mackney (145391) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Ronald James Pocock (1608024) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

In a later report by Sergeant Humble he stated that on the return journey, the starboard inner engine caught fire and thick smoke filled the aircraft. He baled out through the parachute hatch and saw the aircraft continue to fly level for a few seconds, turn steeply to starboard and then dived into the sea. He saw no other crew members leave the aircraft. He was picked up by ASR vessel and taken to Corsica. It was later recorded that the remaining missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.


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, 166/21/180

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