Leading Aircraftman William James Martin O’BRIEN

Service No: 67902
Born: Cowra NSW, 6 July 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 July 1942
Unit: No. 33 Squadron
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 33 Squadron C47 aircraft A65-15), Milne Bay PNG, 7 June 1944, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Edward Cahill O’Brien and Mary Elizabeth O’Brien; husband of Irene O’Brien, of Manly, New South Wales.
Roll of Honour: Cowra NSW
Remembered: Panel 103, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cowra World War II and Korea Memorial Roll of Honour, Cowra NSW

An explosion was reported 11 minutes after Dakota A65-15 took-off from Milne Bay enroute to Port Moresby. In poor visibility, the aircraft had crashed into the surrounding mountains and the four crew members on board were killed.

The crew members of A16-65 were:

Flight Lieutenant George Heads (400027) (Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman William James Martin O’Brien (67902) (Instrument Repairer flying as Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant David Harry Palmer (429726) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer William Joseph Wilson (419451) (Navigator)


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, 116
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Dakota, Hercules and Caribou in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

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