LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer James Goudie LAWRENCE

Service No: 425523
Born: Renfrew, Scotland, 10 April 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 March 1942 (at Brisbane QLD)
Unit: No. 172 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 172 Squadron Wellington aircraft MF396), off the Irish Coast, 14 November 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert and Margaret Lawrence, of Dululu, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Dululu QLD
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0148 hours on 14 November 1944 Wellington MF396 took off to carry out an operational patrol over the sea at night in an area north west of Ireland. Shortly after take off the Coast Guard at Ramoor Head reported seeing an aircraft coming from south of the River Foyle at a height of approximately 1,500 feet and heading towards the sea at 0156 hours. Intermittent flashes were coming from the tail of the aircraft and in less than a minute the aircraft burst into flames, and crashed into the sea.8 to12 miles from Portrush. Some wreckage washed up in Eire revealed evidence of extensive fire damage in the fuselage.

The crew members of MF396 were:

Pilot Officer John Robert Baxter (188172) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Herbert Hall (1084150) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Raymond Daniel Jerrard (1320341) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer James Goudie Lawrence (425523) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant William Barle Pike (798695) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Warrant Officer George Victor Weeks (422034) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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, 166/24/592