Flight Sergeant Edmond William O’DWYER

Service No: 429200
Born: Cobram VIC, 11 August 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 November 1942
Unit: No. 20 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Lossiemouth, Morayshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 20 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft HZ262), Lossiemouth, 22 July 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Lossiemouth Burial Ground, Scotland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edmond Patrick and Eileen Marion O’Dwyer, of Methul, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Wangaratta VIC
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 22nd July 1944, Wellington HZ262 took off from RAF Lossiemouth at 1153 hours, detailed to carry out a fighter affiliation training exercise. At approximately 1230 hours, the aircraft was sighted, flying at an estimated 2,500 feet over the local golf course when the starboard wing suddenly came off. Totally out of control, the bomber plunged into Lossiemouth Harbour. All on board were killed.

The crew members of HZ262 were:

Flight Sergeant David Bernard Barry (428291) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Allan Joseph Grigg (427901) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Kirk (1827419) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Edmond William O’Dwyer (429200) (Navigator Air Bomber)
Sergeant Albert George Pring (913891) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Arnold Sunter (154310) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)

Mr H Woodcock a 23 year old civilian of 23 Moray St Elgin, drowned at Lossiemouth while endeavouring to rescue crew from the crashed aircraft. He is buried in the Moray County Churchyard.

Corporal Lucas, a WAAF nursing orderly, happened to be visiting the Stotfield Hotel and saw the aircraft hit the sea, about 250 yards from the shore. Without hesitation she ran to the water’s edge and fully clothed, began swimming towards the wreck. At the time there was a moderate swell and a considerable amount of seaweed was present, threatening to trap her at any moment. With total disregard for her own safety, Corporal Lucas pressed on and was the first to reach the terrible scene. There she remained until joined by other helpers and was able to identify two of the crew that had come to the surface. Then, satisfied that no one was alive, she struck off to aid a civilian, (probably Harold Woodstock) who was in difficulties. Again, she rendered aid until others arrived to assist. Near exhausted, she swam the remaining few yards to safety. For her unstinting efforts, Corporal Lucas was recommended for the British Empire Medal.


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, 166/31/227

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