LEST WE FORGET
Flight Sergeant Frank Herbert LEWIS
Service No: 407123
Born: Glenelg SA, 13 January 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1940
Unit: No. 38 Squadron (RAF), Advanced Landing Ground 60, Egypt
Died: Air Operations (No. 38 Squadron Wellington aircraft T2991), Egypt, 20 November 1941, Aged 23 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert William and May Lewis, of Ashford, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Glenelg SA
Remembered: Column 246, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 125, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Wellington T2991 of No. 38 Squadron took off from Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) 60 at 2045 hours on 19 November 1941 on a raid on Derna Landing Ground. The aircraft was due to return to base at 0200 hours on 20th November.
At 0325 hours the aircraft was given a QDM bearing by ALG 09 of 025 deg. At 0336 another bearing of 026 deg was given. At 0440 hours T 2991 requested ALG 09 to fire rockets to indicate its location. ALG fired the only rocket left the others having been used earlier in the night to assist another aircraft. ALG 09 also flashed its Chance Light on/off. The aircraft was heard flying above the clouds at 0445 hours a few miles away. There was no further communication. The aircraft did not land at ALG 09. At the time there was 9/10 tenths cloud cover with a base of 1500 feet.
The burnt out wreck of T2991 was discovered the next day. It had crashed when making a forced landing. There were no survivors. In 1946 searches to locate the graves of the crew members were abandoned.
The crew members of T2991 were:
Sergeant Eric Combes (808380) (RAuxAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Peter Fenn (RAFVR) (918518) (Observer)
Sergeant Joseph Vincent Hamilton (654636) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant George Henry Hellyer (920788) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Frank Herbert Lewis (407123) (Pilot)
Sergeant Noel James Sharp (916355) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator 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, 163/137/104
Ilbery, P.L.T. (Peter Leslie Thomas) (422957) Hatching an Air Force: 2SFTS, 5SFTS, 1BFTS Uranquinty and Wagga Wagga, Banner Books Maryborough QLD 4650, 2002