LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant James Brian KEAYES

Service No: 421283
Born: Macksville NSW, 22 October 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 111 Operational Training Unit (RAF), Nassau, Bahamas
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 111 Operational Training Unit Mitchell aircraft CFR382), off then Bahamas, 28 June 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Lawrence Keayes and Cecilia Keayes, of Nambucca Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Nambucca Heads NSW
Remembered: Panel 3, Column 1, Ottawa Memorial, Ontario
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Mitchell CFR382 took off at 1445 hours on 28 June 1943, to carry out an operational air exercise at sea in the vicinity of Nassau, Bahamas. Wireless communication ceased at 1515 hours and the aircraft failed to return to base from the exercise. In later searches an empty dinghy and an oleo leg from the aircraft were recovered from the sea in position 25.09N, 77.53W, but no trace of any survivors was found. It was later recorded that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of CFR382 were:

Sergeant Arthur Joseph Beaulieu (R/157081) (RCAF) (Student Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant James Brian Keayes (421283) (Student Navigator)
Sergeant Carl Eric Ogren (R/166219) (RCAF) (Student Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Charles Leslie Herbert Snart (522206) (RAF) (Student Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer William Lorne Stinson (J/23811) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Arthur William Torrens (413287) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Thomas Wallace (R/168519) (RCAF) (Student 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/22/91