KIRKBY George Henry 406332


Flight Sergeant George Henry KIRKBY

Service No: 406332
Born: Kalgoorlie WA, 22 October 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 November 1940
Unit: No. 104 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 104 Squadron Wellington aircraft Z8572), Landing Ground 106, Egypt, 26 June 1942, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred George and May Florence Kirkby, of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Kalgoorlie WA
Remembered: Column 265, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Wellington Z8572 of 104 Squadron was detailed to carry out two missions on the night of 25/26th June 1942. The first was from Landing Ground 25 which was successfully carried out. On the second mission the aircraft having been refuelled and bombed up at a disused Landing Ground No 106, was ready to take off at 0115 hours on 26 June 1942, when an enemy air raid commenced. Z8572 was destroyed by a violent explosion and burst into flames. Four crew struggled out of the aircraft, but two were killed – Flight Sergeant Kirby and Pilot Officer Smith-Windsor.

The crew members of Z8572 were:

Sergeant J H Jones (649219) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant J B Jule (1059940) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Henry Kirkby (406332) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Killed
Sergeant F M Sharplin (41366) (RNZAF) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Grenville Smith-Windsor (J/6132) (RCAF) (Observer) Killed
Pilot Officer R C Tait (391421) (RNZAF) (Second Pilot)

Both Flight Sergeant Kirby and Pilot Officer Smith-Windsor were buried at Landing Ground 106. Post war searches however failed to find the location of their graves and they are recorded as having no known grave.


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, 163/133/150