MATTHEWS Philip William 406080

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Philip William MATTHEWS

Service No: 406080
Born: Boulder WA, 2 November 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 July 1940
Unit: No. 23 Squadron, Tocumwal, NSW
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 23 Squadron Liberator aircraft A72-348), Philippines, 9 April 1946, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William John and Isabella Janet Matthews; husband of Ivy Maude Matthews, of West Leederville, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 32, Labuan Memorial, Malaysia
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 9 April 1946, A72-348 was on a flight from Manila to Darwin when two engines failed over the Celebes Sea, south of Zamboanga. The pilot, Wing Commander John Edward Handbury (O381), could not feather the propellers; in the ditching that resulted two men were killed: observer Flight Lieutenant Philip William Matthews (406080) and passenger Lieutenant I.M. Potten (US Army Transportation Corps).

Extract from Nelmes, M.V. (Michael) Tocumwal to Tarakan: Australians and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1994 – Pages 143-4

On board A72-348 were:

Wing Commander John Edward Handbury (O381) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 July 1971
Captain A S McFadden (US Army) Seriously Injured
Warrant Officer William Norman Nesbitt (433943) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 1 March 1948
Flight Lieutenant Philip William Matthews (406080) (Observer)
Warrant Officer Colin James McKenzie (422241) Seriously Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 June 1947
Flight Sergeant Douglas William Norton (39721) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 October 1946
Lieutenant I M Potten (US Army)
Corporal Edric Edger Pye (34387) Seriously Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 December 1947
Warrant Officer Robert Bruce Smith (19667) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 19 February 1948
Warrant Officer Frederick Leslie Welsh (410769) Slightly Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: Date Unavailable

References:

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, 163/142/268

Bibliography:

Wilson, S. (Stewart) Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992 – An account of this ditching is given at Pages 137-8