LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Raymond James MULLINS

Service No: 424785
Born: Moss Vale NSW, 24 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1942
Unit: No. 53 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station St Eval
Died: Air Operations: (No. 53 Squadron Liberator aircraft EV899), English Channel, 27 August 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Adrean Mullins and Annie Mullins, of Sutherland, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sutherland NSW
Remembered: Panel 261, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1915 hours on 26 August 1944 Liberator EV899 took off from RAF St Eval to carry out an anti-submarine patrol in the Channel area. At 0229 hours on the 27 August, suspicious contacts were made off the Les Sept Isles, flares were dropped and two runs made on the Leigh Light. The night was very dark and moonless. The Captain manoeuvred the aircraft for an attack at 100 feet. The radio altimeter was flickering Amber/Red and the aircraft struck the sea. The Captain came to the surface and found an inflated dinghy beside the fuselage. He two other crew members made contact before the fuselage sank. They searched for the others with torches and flame floats without success. The next morning an aircraft located the three survivors, boats rescued them and landed them at Cherbourg. In 1949 it was recorded that the remaining seven missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of EV899 were:

Sergeant Ronald Ashworth (2219013) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Walter Henry John Barnes (424962) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Coombes (1663738) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Rescued
Flight Sergeant Colin John Falconer (416897) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant G M Forbes (121289) (RAFVR) (Pilot) Rescued
Flight Lieutenant Tom Collier Hood (89631) (RAFVR) (First Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Raymond James Mullins (424785) (Second Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant Hugh Coates Reay (421531) (RNZAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Steer (1339083) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) Rescued
Sergeant William Charles Tatum (1387024) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator 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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/28/387
Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn, Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996