RAE Donald James 406681

LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Donald James RAE

Service No: 406681
Born: Hawthorn VIC, 7 December 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 214 Squadron (RAF), RAF Chedburgh, Suffolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 214 Squadron Stirling aircraft BF453), Germany, 27 March 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Hanover War Cemetery, Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leonard Clarkson Rae and Irene Eddleston Rae, of Katanning, Western Australia
Roll of Honour: Katanning WA
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Stirling BF453 took off from RAF Chedburgh at 1940 hours on the night of 27/28th March 1943, detailed to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. The aircraft was reported crashed at Finkenwerder, a town on the south bank of the Elbe and some 8 kms south west from the centre of Hamburg, Germany. All the crew were killed and they are buried in the Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.

The crew members of BF453 were:

Sergeant Robert Anderson (942664) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Edward Challis (140914) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Eric Greenhalgh (1379905) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Reginald George Martin (1171555) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Crawford Kier Phin (1349598) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Donald James Rae (406681) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stanley Alfred Woodrow (933968) (RAFVR) (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, 163/155/117

Bibliography:

Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990