LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Robert McGregor LAURIE

Service No: 401130
Born: Mornington VIC, 11 January 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 January 1941
Unit: No. 1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 (Coastal Operational Training Unit Hudson aircraft AM794), Irish Sea, 24 May 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Laurie, of Bunyip, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 24 May 1942 Hudson AM794 took off on an operational navigation exercise training flight. The last radio contact with AM794 was at 1320 hours. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after that and it did not return to base from the exercise. AM794 was last seen by the Second Officer of SS Hythe to spin into the Irish Sea while turning at a height of 500 feet and burst into flames. A search boat from the SS Hythe failed to recover three bodies which were seen. The remains of Pilot Officer Rollason were recovered from the Irish Sea near Millon, Cumberland, on 24 June 1942. The other three missing crew members were recorded as having lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of AM794 were:

Sergeant Frederick Jack Irvine (401380) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Thomas King (R/90192) (RCAF) (Observer)
Sergeant Robert McGregor Laurie (401130) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Richard William Rollason (403018) (Wireless Operator 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/136/147