Flight Sergeant Maurice Frederick LAY

Service No: 401974
Born: Bruthern VIC, 31 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1941
Unit: No. 142 Squadron (RAF), Blida, Algeria
Died: Air Operations: (No. 142 Squadron Wellington aircraft HF800), Sardinia, 10 April 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Cagliari (St. Michele) Communal Cemetery, Sardinia, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred and Janet Lay, of West Preston, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Footscray VIC
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Wellington HF800 took off at 1815 hours on the night of 10 April 1943, detailed to attack the landing ground at Decimo-Mannu, Italy. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team report stated “at 2103 hours a pilot of 142 Squadron flying at 7,000 feet saw disintegrating sparks of what he suspected to be an aircraft falling to the ground, and subsequently saw a large flash on the ground immediately below. The position was believed to be near the Island of Sardinia, behind Cape Toulada and the aircraft believed to be Wellington HF 800. All the crew were killed.”

The crew members of HF800 were:

Flight Sergeant Adrian James Burwell (R/95646) (RCAF) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Jeffrey William Campbell (413959) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant William Joseph Larcombe (16724) (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Maurice Frederick Lay (401974) (Pilot)
Sergeant Eric Albert Raby (1334028) (RAFVR) (Wireless 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/24/70

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