LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Donald Frederick PARSONS

Service No: 408406
Born: Deloraine TAS, 26 May 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 April 1942
Unit: No. 6 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 6 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft P682), Selway Firth, 6 April 1944, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Chester (Blacon) Cemetery, Cheshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Ernest and Grace Isabel Parsons, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Ulverstone TAS
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 6 April 1944, Wellington P682 took off on a day training exercise and crashed in the sea at Selway Firth at 1020 hours. The bodies of two of the crew were recovered from the sea, and three were missing. A Court of Inquiry into the accident stated: “the aircraft had complete a successful
QGH practice and had closed down the Radio and Wireless Telegraph watch. About half an hour later the aircraft was seen burning on the water in a totally wrecked condition.”

The crew members of P682 were:

Sergeant Ernest Anthony Dempsey (1494695) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Bernard Basil Gateley (55106) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Donald Frederick Parsons (408406) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Henry Lawrence Regan (1512170) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Douglas Joseph Simon (131151) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/32/349