Sergeant Walter John LAY

Service No: 408079
Born: Horsham VIC, 8 May 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940
Unit: No. 13 Squadron, operating from Ambon
Died: Air Operations: (No. 13 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-29), at sea near Ambon, 1 January 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter Alfred and Jessie Lay; husband of Vera Evelyn Lay, of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 10, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 1 January 1942, Hudson A16-29 crashed at sea to the north of Ambon while returning from a shipping search. The event was witnessed by the crews of two accompanying Hudsons. The aircraft’s bombs detonated on impact but miraculously Sergeant Hack survived and was rescued by a USN Catalina aircraft some 15 minutes later. The loss of A16-29 is recounted in detail in The 13 Squadron Story.

The crew members of A16-29 were:

Pilot Officer Robert Kelvin Allen (404945) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Bernie Edward Hack (407102) (Wireless Air Gunner) Rescued, Discharged from the RAAF: 22 September 1943
Sergeant Walter John Lay (408079) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer John Turnbull (642) (Pilot)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/1/319 Part 3


Grantham, S.R. (Sidney Richard) (6590) The 13 Squadron Story, S.R. Grantham, Dee Why NSW 2099, 1991

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