LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant George Wilson LOWTHER

Service No: 6240
Born: Townsville QLD, 27 September 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 November 1939 (at RAAF Station Richmond NSW)
Unit: No. 131 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Station Killadeas
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 131 Operational Training Unit Catalina aircraft FP239), Northern Ireland, 30 December 1942, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Irvinestown Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Fermanagh
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Elizabeth Lowther, of Ashgrove, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

During a non-operational training flight on 30 December 1942 Catalina FP239 took off from Killadeas and became lost in bad weather, and crashed 17 miles north west of Omagh, Northern Ireland. All on board the aircraft were killed. The weather conditions had deteriorated earlier and more severely than was forecast. However as the cloud base at ETA was forecast at 600 feet, with visibility 5/6 miles a diversion was not ordered. The aircraft obtained homing bearings from the local High Frequency Direction Finding station and continued on course. It flew into a hillside 25 miles north east of base while in cloud and greatly reduced visibility.

The crew members of FP239 were:

Flying Officer Robert Mercer Adams (J/11950) (RCAF) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Leading Aircraftman Leslie Greenhalgh (1137149) (RAFVR) (RDF Operator)
Sergeant Frederick Herbert Hilling (1222870) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant George Wilson Lowther (6240) (Fitter IIE/Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Matthew James Hall Newman (49003) (RAF) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Nichol (1026077) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Samuel Orr (978191) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Arthur Horton Perkins (1132720) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Charles Bernard Ridge (1198310) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Edward Slade (1233795) (RAFVR) (Fitter Mechanic Engines/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Daniel Ward Yates (1058083) (RAFVR) (Flight Mechanic Airframe/Air Gunner)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/25/2