LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Frank MOSS

Service No: 421686
Born: Wallsend NSW, 7 September 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 28 February 1942
Unit: No. 423 Squadron (RCAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 423 Squadron Sunderland aircraft W6013), Northern Ireland, 5 December 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Irvinestown Church of Ireland Churchyard, County Fermanagh
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry and Evelyn Moss; husband of Esma Mary Moss, of Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Panel 133, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Memorial Grove, Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Newcastle Boys High School Memorial Entrance World War II, Waratah NSW

On 5 December 1943, Sunderland W6013 was detailed to carry out a non-operational transit flight. The aircraft crashed at 1307 hours when it hit the side of Knocklaid, a mountain approximately 3 miles south of Ballycastle, while doing a let down through cloud at a height of 1,200 feet. The aircraft was in transit from Castle Archdale to Stranraer and was flying the second leg of the trip from Lough Foyle to Rathlin Island. Flying Officer Moss, a Navigator Bomb Aimer, was a passenger in transit, and he lost his life in the crash.

In a Flying Accident Report, it was stated that “The Captain and the Navigator were flying by Dead Reckoning (DR) Navigation alone and they were assuming to be crossing the coast line and on track from Limavady to Rathlin island. The DR navigation was inaccurate and no use was made by the crew of the ASR nor was any use made of other radio aids to establish the correct position of the aircraft. The aircraft hit bottom first as the Pilot attempted to pull up at the last moment, The bottom disintegrated and the engines followed, before the top part of the aircraft came to rest upside down and the aircraft caught fire about 100 yards from the first point of impact.”

The Captain of the aircraft Flying Officer Russell (RCAF) was in hospital, seriously injured in the accident. It was intended to take disciplinary action against him if the Court of Inquiry findings into the accident confirm the above.

Of the 16 on board, nine were killed and seven were injured. Killed were:

Flying Officer Herbert Douglas Blair (J/20044) (RCAF)
Flight Sergeant Donald Thomas Bromhead (1425899) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant David Cowan Douglas (552117) (RAF)
Sergeant Randall Hunter (1167146) (RAFVR)
Leading Aircraftman Edward Lowson (1005562) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Frank Moss (421686)
Squadron Leader Philip Michael Hermann Thomas (72030) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Christopher George Edward Wellington (1003031) (RAFVR)
Sergeant George Wilkinson (916507) (RAFVR)

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, 166/28/204
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line