LAIRD Thomas Paterson 415337

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Thomas Paterson LAIRD

Service No: 415337
Born: Kellerberrin WA, 25 February 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 September 1921
Unit: No. 142 Squadron (RAF), Kairouan, Tunisia
Died: Air Operations: (No. 142 Squadron Wellington aircraft HZ333), Italy, 22 July 1943, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Cassino War Cemetery, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Paterson Laird and Jean Laird, of Albany, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Albany WA
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Wellington HZ333 took off at 2328 hours on the night of 21 July 1943, detailed to attack Capodichino, Italy. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A later report by a Missing Research and Enquiry team in Italy stated “The aircraft crashed at approximately 0300 hours on the 22nd July 1943 at Amigliano Del Arco, presumably as a result of enemy action. Amigliano Del Arco is seven miles north east of Naples, Italy. All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Cassino War Cemetery.

The crew members of HZ333 were:

Flight Sergeant Ralph Trenham Bilsby (415222) (Pilot)
Sergeant Bayne Buckley (R/136372) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Paterson Laird (415337) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Lindsay Gordon Potts (412701) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Scott (1367183) (RAFVR) (Wireless 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301, 415337