Flight Sergeant Walter David Barry O’DEA

Service No: 418558
Born: Shepparton VIC, 4 February 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1942
Unit: No. 514 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Waterbeach
Died: Air Operations: (No. 514 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DS817), Germany, 20 December 1943, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Holland O’Dea and Mary Bridget Alice O’Dea, of Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Melbourne VIC
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1732 hours on the night of 20 December 1943, Lancaster DS817 took off from Waterbeach detailed to bomb Frankfurt, Germany. The aircraft carried 1400 lbs B4, 8 x 30lbs, 16 x 30 lbs 7, 150 x 4 lbs incendiaries, 9000 rounds of ammunition and 1500 gallons of petrol enough for six hours flying time. The flight was anticipated to take 5 hours. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A report by a Missing Research and Enquiry team stated: “The aircraft exploded in mid air after a night fighter attack and crashed at Rettert at approximately 2000 hours on the 20 December 1943.” Six crew members were killed and one became a Prisoner of War.

The crew members of DS817 were:

Sergeant Arthur Reginald Bird (1407182) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant G J Davis (1553150) (RAFVR) (Pilot) PoW
Sergeant Hugh Morris (1334931) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Walter David Barry O’Dea (418558) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Eric James Roberts (1452782) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Reginald Derek Seddon (1445550) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant James Smethurst (1062645) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


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, 166/31/130

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