LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Ernest Henry McDONALD

Service No: 430310
Born: Kinglake VIC, 12 August 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 March 1943
Unit: No. 251 Squadron (RAF), Reykjavik, Iceland
Died: Air Operations: (No. 251 Squadron Hudson aircraft FK739), off Iceland, 17 March 1945, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert James McDonald and Mabel Thompson McDonald; husband of Yvonne Mary McDonald, of Deer Park, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 17 March 1945 Hudson FK739 was detailed to carry out a meteorological reconnaissance in the North Atlantic Ocean from Reykjavik in an area between 61.40N and 63.30N and 024.00W and 026.00W. The aircraft took off just after midnight, and was in contact with Base for the major part of the sortie, but on the return flight shortly after dawn, when about 1 hour to 1.10 hours out from base, all communication from the aircraft ceased. Searches were carried out by aircraft in the following days but without success. In 1949 it was recorded that the missing crew members were lost at sea.

The crew members of FK739 were:

Flying Officer William Thomas Evans (165531) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Richard Allan Fielding (1592320) (RAFVR) (Meteorologist, Air Gunner)
Flying Officer William Archie Hughes (170738) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Ernest Henry McDonald (430310) (Wireless Operator/Air)
Flying Officer Gordon Cameron Yorkston (422902) (Wireless Operator/Air)

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, 166/26/850