Pilot Officer Alexander Frederick McDONALD

Service No: 418863
Born: North Fitzroy VIC, 12 June 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1942
Unit: No. 1 Operational Training Unit
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Operational Training Unit Hudson aircraft A16-32), Bass Strait, 6 July 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Hugh Alexander McDonald and Constance Emmilene Dorothy McDonald, of Clifton Hill, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 5, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 6th July 1943, Hudson A16-32 was detailed to carry out exercise DR9 in the Tasman Sea over the route Paynesville, Flinders Island, King Island, Hogan Group then home. The aircraft took off from East Sale at 1944 hours. The exercise required the aircraft to search for shipping at night using ASV (radar), and was meant to be carried out at an altitude of 4,000 feet. In the return leg from King Island to the Hogan Group, they are required to home on the Hogan Group by the use of ASV, drop a flare no lower than 4,000 feet, and carry out a dummy bombing attack and then return to base. Radio silence was to be maintained except for practice direction finding bearings. Three aircraft were engaged in the exercise that night and A16-32 failed to return to base with an extensive search failing to reveal any trace of the missing aircraft or crew. In the Court of Inquiry into the accident, it was revealed that “the aircraft was serviceable except for the fact that the artificial horizon on the Gyro was unserviceable and the hydraulic pressure in the Gyro Pilot was too high. It was stated that the Pilot of A16-32 was told he would have to fly the aircraft manually and that he was not to engage the gyro pilot.”

The crew members of A16-32 were:

Pilot Officer John James Bowman (410622) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer John Alexander Buchanan (419453) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Harry Robert Alfred Guymer (418943) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Alan Joseph Malone (426128) (Observer)
Pilot Officer Alexander Frederick McDonald (418863) (Wireless Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/26/172; A9845, 134

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