Flying Officer Patrick Thomas O’FARRELL

Service No: 409216
Born: Casterton VIC, 20 July 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 115 Squadron (RAF), RAF Little Snoring, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 115 Squadron Lancaster aircraft DS675), Germany, 22 September 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Francis Stewart O’Farrell and Kathleen Harriet O’Farrell, of Northcote, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Benalla VIC
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster DS675 took off from RAF Little Snoring at 1918 hours on the night of 22/23rd September 1943, detailed to bomb Hanover, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter. Six of the crew were killed and two became prisoners of War.

The crew members of DS675 were:

Sergeant Harold Dennis Bean (1357541) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Leonard Cowling (645715) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Reginald Fuggle DFM (403619) (RNZAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Lionel Manuel Goldsmith (40919) (RNZAF) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant D P Heath (1389318) (RAF) (Air Bomber) PoW
Flying Officer Patrick Thomas O’Farrell (409216) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer K A S Pipe (401442) (RNZAF) (Navigator) PoW
Flight Sergeant Cornelius David Ward (416812) (Second Pilot)

Pilot Officer Pipe later reported “On the night of 22/23rd September 1943, DS 675 was attacked but the gunner managed to beat it off. I spoke over the inter-com to WO Goldsmith congratulating him on his action, in fact all members spoke to each other. Later we were attacked again and one of the engines made unserviceable. I called up Goldsmith but received no reply but I heard very faintly Sergeant Cowling who was at the flare hatch at the back of the aircraft He said he would ascertain if Goldsmith was OK. I also received no reply from the mid upper gunner. Soon after we were attacked again and the aircraft was raked from the front to the rear position, after which the Captain ordered abandon. I went up to Pilot Officer Fuggle the WAG to go up to our bale out position, when I was suddenly flung forward. I found myself on the forward escape hatch. As I was lying on the hatch I saw the pilot start to leave his seat. I then baled out followed by Sergeant Heath. I did not notice anyone else leave the aircraft on the way down. I landed a short distance from the aircraft. Later I saw Sergeant Heath and he told me that the second pilot had baled out before us, but neither of us knew his fate. Sergeant Heath told me that when he left the aircraft was at a very low altitude and it is very impossible that the Captain escaped from the aircraft before it crashed. I did not know the fate of any other member of the crew.”


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, 166/31/106

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