LEST WE FORGET

Corporal Thomas Henry POOLE

Service No: 19812
Born: Melbourne VIC, 19 February 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 29 November 1940
Unit: No. 3 Operational Training Unit, Rathmines NSW
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 3 Operational Training Unit Catalina aircraft A24-39), Port Stephens NSW, 24 May 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Newcastle (Sandgate) War Cemetery, NSW
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Phillip Henry and Elizabeth Poole; husband of Gwen Isabel Poole, of Bondi.
Roll of Honour: Brunswick VIC
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: The Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries (V.C.) and Pte. William Matthew Currey (V.C.) Memorial Wall, Sandgate NSW

As a member of the 9 Squadron Detachment, Corporal Poole survived the loss of HMAS Canberra on 9 August 1942.

On 24 May 1943, No. 3 Operational Training Unit Catalina aircraft A24-39 crashed at Port Stephens while landing in a heavy swell resulting in the deaths of seven RAAF Members. The Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Higgins, was tasked to inspect the state of the seas at Port Stephens and to return to Rathmines and make a report on Port Stephens’ suitability for rough water training. The accident report does not speculate on the reason a landing was attempted.

The crew members of A24-39 were:

Flying Officer Norman John Brown (411992) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Alan Fullerton Craddock (408799) (Second Pilot)
Flight Lieutenant Brian Hartley Higgins DFC (400620) (Pilot)
Corporal Jaffre David James (8164) (Fitter IIE)
Sergeant John Johnston (411710) (Wireless Air Gunner) Seriously Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 April 1946
Flying Officer Max Alexander Larkan (409842) (Navigator)
Leading Aircraftman Henry George Lovett (21419) (Fitter IIA)
Corporal Thomas Henry Poole (19812) (Fitter IIE)
Aircraftman Class 1 Kenneth Carlyle Stow (72521) (Armourer) Slightly injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 18 December 1945

References:

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, 146
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line