NAIRN Alex Frederick 415350

LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Alex Frederick NAIRN

Service No: 415350
Born: Perth WA, 5 September 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 September 1941
Unit: No. 83 Squadron (RAF), RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 83 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND354), Germany, 2 January 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Sage War Cemetery, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Thomas Nairn and Ellen Annie Nairn, of North Perth, Western Australia. A.F.I.A.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 127, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster ND354 took off from RAF Wyton at 0011 hours on the night of 1/2nd January 1944, detailed to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A later Missing Research & Enquiry team report stated “when outbound the aircraft was shot down and crashed at approximately 0300 hours on 2nd January at Lutten, 5 kms north east of Vechta.” Seven of the crew were killed and Sergeant Lewis became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of ND354 were:

Wing Commander William Abercromby DFC and Bar (44971) (RAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Richard William Allen (1529131) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Warrant Officer II William Richard Halloran (R/119691) (RCAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant L H Lewis (1609465) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Flying Officer Walter John James (135088) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Alex Frederick Nairn (415530) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Barton Pearson (421382) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant William Alfred Wall (1576531) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Sergeant Lewis later reported “the aircraft blew up. I was thrown clear and to my knowledge I was the only survivor.”

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, 166/29/84