Pilot Officer Edward Thomas LYNCH

Service No: 413398
Born: Kogarah NSW, 16 June 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1941
Unit: No. 603 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 603 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NE421), off the Greek Coast, 11 April 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas Frederick and Violet May Lynch, of Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Leeton NSW
Remembered: Column 281, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: ANZAC Memorial Clock, Leeton NSW

At 1355 hours on 11 April 1944 Beaufighter NE421 took off from Gambut, together with three other Squadron aircraft, for an offensive sweep of Antikithera, Serephos, Paros, Nios, Santorin and Caso. The formation of 4 Beaufighters arrived without incident at Serephos at 1608 hours, swept the west, north and eastern coasts and climbed overland to run into Livadhi Bay in the middle of which a 150 ton caique (traditional Ionian or Aegean fishing boat) painted grey, was anchored.

The four aircraft formed into fairly close line astern to attack the caique on which light anti-aircraft positions were observed at the bow, stern and amidships. The leading and second aircraft made their attacks scoring hits, and Warrant Officer Lynch then made the third attack with two pairs of 25lb RPs the first pair undershooting and the second pair hitting amidships. The pilot of the fourth attacking aircraft reported seeing a flash comparable with a strike of an explosive bullet, beneath the starboard engine nacelle of NE421. Other crews saw black smoke trail from the starboard engine of NE421 which continued to fly straight and level for one and a half minutes at 100 feet. The aircraft then turned starboard through 45deg. and lose height; at 1612 hours in position 37.05N 024.32E the starboard wing appeared to drop to the vertical, and in the intervening twenty feet before hitting the sea, the starboard engine burst into flames. The impact with the sea was marked by a large flash and explosion and the machine disintegrated. The three remaining aircraft circled for 5 minutes and reported seeing wreckage and burning debris, including a semi inflated dinghy. There was no sign of any survivors. Some photographs of the crash scene were taken. No radio message was received from NE421 after the attack and before it crashed. It was later recorded that the missing crew members were lost at sea.

The crew members of NE421 were:

Pilot Officer Edward Thomas Lynch (413398) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Cyril Clucas Sykes (176006) (RAFVR) (Navigator/Wireless)


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, 166/25/134
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line