PAYNE Joseph Henry 406150

LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Joseph Henry PAYNE

Service No: 406150
Born: 17 May 1915, Location Unavailable
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 August 1940, Location Unknown
Unit: No. 211 Squadron (RAF), Palembang 2 Airfield, Sumatra
Died: Air Operations (No. 211 Squadron Blenheim Mk IV aircraft), Sumatra, 13 February 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph C. Payne, and of Lily Violet Payne, of East Perth, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 421, Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Remembered: Panel 148, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

When a Blenheim of No. 211 Squadron was returning from convoy escort duty on 13 February it ran into a severe storm over Palembang and landed in the sea near Banka Island. All the crew were picked up, except Flying Officer Thomas Taylor McInerney (407273), Observer, who was not seen by the pilot or the Wireless Air Gunner. It is thought that the Observer went down with the aircraft.

It is believed that this aircraft was one of six Blenheims of No. 211 Squadron that ran into a storm over Palembang returning from convoy escort duty. The formation split up and no news was heard of an aircraft with an all-RAAF crew of Flying Officer Graham Mackay, Pilot, and Flying Officer Neville Oddie and Flying Officer Joseph Payne. Twenty-six years later, their aircraft was found in a swamp 50 kilometres south-west of P2 (Palembang No. 2 Airfield). The other four Blenheims returned to base.

Extract from Hall, E.R. (Eldred Rayner) (O3341) Glory in Chaos, Sembawang Association West Coburg VIC, 1989 – Page 415

On 13 February 1942, six Blenheims of 211 Squadron led by Wing Commander Bateson went after lunch to escort a convoy. The formation was given a wrong pin point so they could not find the convoy. Coming back at dusk the formation ran into a storm over Palembang Four of the aircraft landed at another drome. One of the remaining Blenheims ditched in the sea near Banka Island, whilst nothing was heard of the remaining Blenheim flown by FO Mackay. It was thought possible that the aircraft may have crashed in the jungle, but nothing was known of the aircraft or the missing crew.

The crew members of the missing Blenheim aircraft were:

Flying Officer Graham Gordon Mackay (404566) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Neville Hargreaves Oddie (400541) (Observer)
Flying Officer Joseph Henry Payne (406150) (Observer)

No. 211 Squadron lost the Blenheim aircraft (Flying Officer Thomas Taylor McInerney (407273) (Observer)) that was forced to ditch on 13 February 1942.

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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/51/124