Sergeant David William PETCH

Service No: 437040
Born: Brighton SA, 15 July 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1942
Unit: No. 2 Squadron, Darwin NT
Died: Air Operations (No. 2 Squadron Hudson aircraft A16-178), Arafura Sea, 16 October 1943, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred Guy and Mary Petch, of Meribah, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 10, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

In October, North-Western Area squadrons continued to support the New Guinea offensive by destroying as much of the enemy strength as possible in the Netherlands East Indies. … The Hudsons of No. 2 Squadron and Mitchells of No. 18 Squadron continued nightly attacks on Koepang, Lautem, Fuiloro, Langgur, and other targets.

Extract from Odgers, G.J. (George James) (VX127783) Air War Against Japan 1943-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1957 – Page 117

At 0200Z hours on 16 October 1943, Hudson A16-178 took off from Milingimbi and proceeded on a shipping reconnaissance sortie over the Arafura Sea. Nothing was heard from the aircraft which failed to return to base.

The crew members of A16-178 were:

Flight Sergeant John Francis George Cullen (423078) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Francis Richard Drake-Brockman (427451) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flying Officer John Pomeroy Oldridge (417509) (Pilot)
Sergeant David William Petch (437040) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Donald Neal Rumble (413260) (Wireless Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 137


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992

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