Flight Sergeant Gordon James Keith LAIDLER

Service No: 430373
Born: Kew VIC, 24 July 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 January 1943
Unit: No. 21 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Station Moreton-in-Marsh
Died: Air Operations: (No. 21 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft HE444), North Sea, 30 August 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Gordon William and Irene Ada Laidler, of Kew, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 261, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 30 August 1944 Wellington HE444 took off from Moreton-in-Marsh, to attack a diversionary “Bullseye” target, 58 miles from Borkum in the Frisian Islands. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Other crews reported some anti-aircraft fire from a flak ship near the target, and also anti-aircraft fire from a convoy 10 miles off Cromer on the return journey. Apart from an envelope being found in the sea of Cromer, with the service particulars of Sergeant Grego, no trace of the missing aircraft or crew were found and in 1949 it was recorded that they had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of HE444 were:

Sergeant Cyril Charles Grego (1603720) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Felix Ivor Griffin (429224) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Dunstan Kempthorne (1585078) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Gordon James Keith Laidler (430373) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant David Christie McLachlan (1827919) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Robert Whittle (1811022) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)


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, 166/24/529

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