MATTHEWS William Ernest 16949

LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant William Ernest George MATTHEWS

Service No: 16949
Born: Devon UK, 10 February 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 June 1940 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth
Died: Air Operations: Crisis in the Atlantic (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DP177), Bay of Biscay, 11 August 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest Elijah and Bessie Sidwell Matthews, of Denmark, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Denmark WA
Remembered: Panel 196, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

Flight Lieutenant Gerrard of No. 10 was attacked by six Ju-88s in the far south of the Bay of Biscay on 8th August, but escaped with minor damage; three days later he failed to return from a similar patrol.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Page 618

The crew members of DP177 were:

Pilot Officer Roydon James Adams (205795) (Air Gunner, Squadron Gunnery officer)
Sergeant Douglas Edward Bennington (33244) (Fitter IIE)
Flying Officer Ian William Bowen (412372) (First Pilot)
Sergeant James Edward Challinor (32957) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Reviere Dallas (61002) (Armourer / Air Gunner)
Sergeant John Gordon Dwyer (422461) (Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Norman Clive Gerrard (401502) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Frank Howard Jones (403746) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Ernest George Matthews (16949) (Fitter IIA)
Flying Officer James Inman Rowland (421631) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Keith Dermer Smith (405664) (Second Pilot)
Warrant Officer James George Hudson Webster (405658) (Wireless 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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/27/197
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992