LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Frederick John LEES

Service No: 407901
Born: Broken Hill NSW, 10 February 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941 (at Adelaide SA)
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Devon
Died: Air Operations (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DP179), North Atlantic Ocean, 3 October 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Albury Lees and Esther Lenora Lees; husband of Eugenie Phillippa Lees, of Millswood, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Broken Hill NSW
Remembered: Panel 187, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the night of 2/3rd October 1943, Sunderland DP 179 took off at 2315 hours, detailed to carry out a Percussion L-2 anti-submarine patrol. At 0747 hours on the 3rd October, a message was received at base from DP 179, “returning to base engine trouble. My position is 48.05N 09.40W.” At 0755 hours DP 179 acknowledged a signal from base instructing a radio frequency change to 333 kcs. Nothing further was heard, and the aircraft failed to return to base. Searches were conducted with no success.

The crew members of DP179 were:

Flying Officer David Anderson (408946) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Bruce Alan Bunning (410303) (Pilot)
Sergeant Humphrey Coldham-Fussell (8710) (Fitter 11E)
Flying Officer John Bryant Gleeson (410482) (Observer)
Sergeant Philip Leslie Johnson (27191) (Wireless Maintenance Mechanic)
Flight Lieutenant Frederick John Lees (407901) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Galway Lockrey (423203) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Bruce Duncan Michael McDonell (426651) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Henry Powis (419671) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Ronald Speirs (422010) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Bruce Edward Stehr (15805) (Fitter 11E)

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 A705, 163/42/132
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992