Sergeant Gavin Athole Laurie McLAREN

Service No: 406859
Born: Norwich England, 28 June 1909
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 April 1941 (At Perth WA)
Unit: No. 32 Squadron, Horn Island QLD
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 32 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-198), off Byron Bay NSW, 6 July 1942, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Athole Stewart McLaren and Leslie May McLaren; husband of Gertrude Agnes McLaren, of Como, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 6, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On 6 July 1942, No. 32 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-198 crashed at sea at night and then exploded off the NSW north coast with the loss of ten RAAF Members. The aircraft became lost on a transit flight between Townsville and Amberley. The high casualty count includes four crew and six other Squadron Members proceeding on leave.

Those on board A16-198 were:

Sergeant David Leslie Bradley (30650)
Leading Aircraftman William Edward Evans (24493)
Leading Aircraftman Harold Wilmot Johnstone (24775)
Leading Aircraftman Edward George Kimmins (22537)
Sergeant Douglas John Lovejoy (403752)
Sergeant Gavin Athole Laurie McLaren (406859)
Aircraftman Class 1 Edward George Merefield (25767)
Sergeant Gordon William George Ridge (416231)
Flight Lieutenant Robert Thomas Trigg (467) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Frederick Albert Charles Wood (24672)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 137


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992
Vincent, D. (David) The RAAF Hudson Story Book 1, D. Vincent Highbury SA 5089, 1989 (An account of the A16-198 accident is given at pages 197-8)

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