Warrant Officer Raymond George REED

Service No: 407877
Born: North Adelaide SA, 9 June 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 February 1941
Unit: No. 55 Squadron (RAF), Reyville, Tunisia
Died: Air Operations (No. 55 Squadron Baltimore aircraft FA331), Sicily, 9 July 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Allen Ivier Reed and Dorothy Emily Reed, of Kapunda, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 129, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

At 1057 hours on 9th July 1943, Baltimore FA331 of No. 55 Squadron was flying number five in the Leading Box of a formation of 24 Baltimores attacking the Trapani Milo aerodrome, Sicily from 9,500 feet. Heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered over the target. FA 331 was seen to shoot vertically upwards for at least 2,000 feet, and slowly commence a spin which continued until the aircraft was lost sight of by the lead formation. One of the following aircraft thought a parachute opened from the aircraft but this was unconfirmed. The aircraft was not seen to hit the ground.

The crew members of FA331 were:

Flight Sergeant Alexander William Baines (1192584) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant T Jefferson (1056806) (RAF) (Navigator Bomb Aimer) PoW
Warrant Officer Raymond George Reed (407877) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Cyril Whitfield (1439215) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)

Flight Sergeant Jefferson in a later statement said that “he believed Warrant Officer Reed had been killed. He did not bale out but crashed with the aircraft. I was informed by the German and Italian authorities that Reed was dead and had been buried near the crashed aircraft.” Following post war enquiries and investigations re. the place of burial, it was recorded that WO Reed and the other two missing crew members, had no known grave.


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, 166/35/97

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