LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Donald Sylvester McDONALD

Service No: 421491
Born: Newnes NSW, 26 June 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 February 1942
Unit: No. 1 Torpedo Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Torpedo Training Unit Beaufort aircraft DW923), off the Scottish Coast, 14 June 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Dunure Cemetery, Ayrshire, Scotland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Roy and Jessie Olive Sylveen McDonald, of Glen Davis, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Glen Davis NSW
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: NSW Department of Education Teachers and Trainees WW2 Honour Roll, Sydney NSW

On 14 June 1943 Beaufort DW923 was detailed to carry out a non-operational day training exercise. During the exercise the aircraft crashed at 1118 hours in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland 1.5 miles from the Turnberry Light, and all the crew members were killed. The accident occurred in the morning during attacks on a target ship. The aircraft was flying approx north so that the sun was roughly behind it giving no glare off the water. The aircraft was pulling up and began to turn to starboard after attacking the ship. The plume of black smoke observed from the port engine was probably due to violent opening of the throttle or throttles. Recovery from any unusual condition would be difficult at the low height at which the aircraft was flying. It was concluded that the pilot, being comparatively inexperienced in both low flying over the sea and the type, in some way pulled the aircraft up to or near the stalling condition during the turn; realising this he opened both throttles violently, at the same time putting the nose down. Being at such a low altitude the aircraft hit the sea.

The crew members of DW923 were:

Sergeant Thomas Ernest Victor Doherty (1081823) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) Unrecovered
Sergeant Hugh Fraser Hunter (1060264) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Donald Sylvester McDonald (421491) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Donald Kenneth Hardie McDonald (411033) (RNZAF) (Wireless Air Gunner) Unrecovered

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, 166/26/152
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line