Warrant Officer Keith Edward KERRIDGE

Service No: 421226
Born: Cheltenham NSW, 20 January 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 231 January 1942
Unit: No. 38 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 38 Squadron Wellington aircraft NF153), Keos Island, Greece, 3 August 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens, Greece
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter P. Kerridge and Eileen Veronica Kerridge, of Cheltenham, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Beecroft War Memorial Cenotaph, Beecroft NSW

At 2030 hours on the night of 3 August 1944 Wellington NF153 took off to carry out an armed reconnaissance in the Aegean Sea. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. At 0047 hours on 4 August aircraft H of the Squadron saw light anti-aircraft fire from the north end of Keos Island. Immediately after, he saw a ball of light in the sky height about 600 feet and falling. The light apparently spread on reaching the water approximately quarter of a mile off shore. The pilot turned to make closer investigation and went within 2 miles of the fire. It went out having lasted about 1.5 minutes. While it was not definitely established that the above was an aircraft, it was considered that NF153 could have been in the locality of Keos Island at the time and that it was a possible explanation of the failure of the aircraft to return.

The crew members of NF153 were:

Warrant Officer Bernard John Corkery (1315142) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Edward Thomas Hughes (184674) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Henry Stan Jordan (421225) (Wireless Operator Air)
Pilot Officer Sidney Keen (421022) (Wireless Operator Air)
Warrant Officer Keith Edward Kerridge (421226) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant K Yearsley (1485103) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air) PoW

A French conscript in the German Army later stated to investigators that the aircraft crashed on an island in the Aegean Sea. It was shot down by a German boat on Keos Island. He found the remains of five crew members on the island 8 days after the crash and buried them on the island. Sergeant Yearsly was the sole survivor of the crash.


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, 166/22/302
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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