Flight Sergeant James William Brighton LENNARD

Service No: 437793
Born: Naracoorte SA, 21 October 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 March 1943
Unit: No. 80 Squadron, Noemfoor Island
Died: Air Operations (No. 80 Squadron Kittyhawk aircraft A29-919), Halmaheras, 13 December 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Samuel John and Beatrice Amy Lennard, of Naracoorte, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 104, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

In December the onslaught on Halmahera continued. Not only First Tactical Air Force (TAF) but the Thirteenth Air Force continued to send hundreds of sorties against this target. Again staging through Morotai, forty-seven Kittyhawks of No. 78 Wing bombed Hatetabako, Miti and Galela on 1st December. The attacks took place in conjunction with concurrent attacks on the same targets by American Mitchells, Lightnings and Liberators. The Japanese were making a big effort to keep the Halmahera airfields open in spite of the terrific hammering. On 4th December, reconnaissance aircraft of Far Eastern Air Force found that No. 1 strip at Galela was serviceable. Fresh dirt had been dumped into the bomb craters on the runway which was smooth for its entire length. Anti-aircraft weapons kept up a hot fire on the raiding aircraft. Even small arms were used and aircraft were hit on practically every low-flying mission. To avoid damage, First TAF squadrons adopted coordinated bombing attacks followed by low-level strafing runs from different directions simultaneously. It was found that these methods reduced the damage from ground fire. On 9th and 10th December a total of ninety-one Australian Kittyhawks attacked Galela, Miti and Hatetabako airfields, again rendering them all unserviceable. In spite of the constant pounding of enemy airfields, however, some Japanese aircraft managed to stage in occasionally and attack Morotai.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 313

On 13 December 1944, Kittyhawk A29-919 was hit by anti-aircraft fire over Galela Bay, Dutch East Indies. The aircraft ditched on the shore north of Tiabod River, and the pilot was seen to leave his aircraft, but remained onshore, and American naval personnel from the US Rescue Service endeavoured to effect a rescue. Lennard appeared wounded, and he was killed by Japanese machine gun fire from the shore as he swam out towards a rescue ship. His body was not recovered at the time.


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
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, 166/24/626


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Spitfire, Mustang and Kittyhawk in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1988

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