MORCOMBE William James 415264

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer William James MORCOMBE

Service No: 415264
Born: Ceduna SA, 10 January 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 August 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 622 Squadron (RAF), RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 622 Squadron Stirling aircraft EF128), France, 18 November 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Lachalade Churchyard, Meuse, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Philip Thomas Morcombe and Stella Alison Morcombe, of Armadale, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

On the night of 18 November 1943, Stirling EF128 took off from RAF Mildenhall at 1710 hours, detailed to bomb Mannheim, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft, and it failed to return to base. A missing Research & Enquiry team later reported: “the aircraft was shot down by a German night fighter near Lachalade, at approximately 2000 hours. Lachalade is 18.5 miles west of Verdun, France. Seven members of the crew were killed in the crash, and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of EF128 were:

Flight Sergeant Reginald Matthew Conroy (426317) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant R Harper (1533559) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW
Pilot Officer William James Morcombe (415264) (Pilot)
Sergeant Alan Andrew Ough (1812760) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Harold Leslie Raymond Richards (42457) (RNZAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Arthur Ernest Sly (1632077) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Donald Sinclair Smith (658902) (RAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Stanley Allan Thomas (915352) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/28/190