LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer John Walter PIKE

Service No: 417409
Born: Adelaide SA, 28 May 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 25 April 1942
Unit: No. 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF) RAF Haverfordwest, Wales
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft MP710), Irish Sea, 17 September 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Stanley Pike and Dorothy Whitaker Pike, of Fullarton, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 189, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 128, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Wellington MP710 of 3 (C) Operational Training took off from RAF Station Haverfordwest Wales on a non-operational night flying exercise on 17 September 1943. Following take off at 2010 hours on 17 September, normal transmission signals were received from the aircraft from time to time. At 2340 hours a distress signal from the aircraft was picked up by D/F stations and a fix was transmitted. MP 710 was believed to have made a forced landing in the Irish Sea. Subsequent searches were made with no trace of the missing aircraft or crew being found. Following post war investigations, it was recorded that the missing crew had lost their lives at sea and had no known grave.

The crew members of MP710 were:

Sergeant Douglas Cockerill (1434270) (RAFVR) (Third Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Howard Elfric Davis (J/21241) (RCAF) (First Pilot)
Pilot Officer Stanley John Dudley (144001) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer John Walter Pike (417409) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Jack Toyne (1433515) (RAFVR) (Second Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Vose (1432829) (RAFVR) (First Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

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, 166/32/187