Flight Sergeant Thomas William Newport McGRATH

Service No: 415268
Born: York WA, 4 March 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1941
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Bourne, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA707), Belgium, 28 August 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Florennes Communal Cemetery, Florennes, Namur, Belgium
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Thomas William and Katherine Mary McGrath, of Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Merredin WA
Remembered: Panel 126, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster JA707 took off from RAF Bourne at 2150 hours on the night of 27/28th August 1943 detailed to bomb Nuremburg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was homebound at 14,000 feet and about 10 minutes after leaving the target area when is came under heavy and sustained attack by a night fighter. This resulted in severe damage to the trimming controls and ailerons. Subsequently the aircraft crash landed at Sibret (Luxembourg), 7 kms south west of Bastogne, Belgium. Two crew members were killed, two became Prisoners of War and three evaded capture.

The crew members of JA707 were:

Sergeant J Kenny (1081896) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Sergeant E Gillman (573532) (RAF) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Thomas William Newport McGrath (415268) (Rear Gunner) Killed
Flying Officer Victor Charles Peters (133705) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) Killed
Flight Sergeant H A Pond (416161) (RNZAF) (Pilot) Evaded Capture
Sergeant J E Rainsford (1397881) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Evaded Capture
Sergeant O Ramsden (647735) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Evaded Capture


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, 166/26/219

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