LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Gerald Michael KEOGH

Service No: 266551
Born: Sale VIC, 26 March 1903
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 July 1942
Unit: RAAF Headquarters, Melbourne VIC
Died: Aircraft Accident (43rd Bombardment Group Liberator aircraft 42-40984) near Port Moresby PNG, 30 August 1943, Aged 40 Years
Buried: St Louis (Jefferson Barracks) National Cemetery, USA
CWGC Additional Information: on of Edmund Anthony and Hessie Jane Keogh; husband of Justina Marguerite Keogh, of East Maitland, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: East Maitland NSW
Remembered: Panel 97, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flying Officer Keogh (Administrative and Special Duties) was a supernumerary on the aircraft who was engaged in operations in the New Guinea area for the Far Eastern Liaison Office.

On 30 August 1943, Liberator 42-40984 of the 43rd Bombardment Group took off from Jackson Field Port Moresby, and when flying at 4,000 feet failed to clear the summit of a hill and crashed into a cliff face at Bootless Bay a few miles down the coast south east of Port Moresby. The plane exploded on impact and the bomb load detonated killing all on board. The crew had been detailed to carry out an early morning reconnaissance and supply drop mission.

The crew members of 42-40984 were:

Second Lieutenant Patrick J Byrnes Jr (O-674140) (Co-Pilot)
Second Lieutenant William B Cox O-523742) (Pilot)
Flight Officer Fred L. Evans (T-60667) (Co-Pilot)
Private James A Franklin (18064953) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Gerard Michael Keogh (266551) (Supernumerary)
Technical Sergeant Jacob M Kesler (35356999) (Flight Engineer)
Staff Sergeant George A Kiferd (13089529) (Air Gunner)
Staff Sergeant Harold E Kuhn (12016263) (Assistant Radio Operator)
Staff Sergeant Stanley Marczak (16066245) (Assistant Flight Engineer)
Technical Sergeant Richard D. Marsh (32405881) (Radio Operator)
First Lieutenant Robert F Violet (O-659612) (Navigator)
Second Lieutenant Fred H Verhein Jr (O-738949) (Bombardier)

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, 166/22/111
Pacific Wrecks Website