Flight Sergeant William Alan ROWE

Service No: 68674
Born: Fitzroy VIC, 26 April 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 August 1942 (at Sydney NSW)
Unit: No. 20 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 20 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-203), off Taiwan, 7 March 1945, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of David and Olive Rowe; husband of Iris Joyce Rowe, of Merewether, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 32, Labuan Memorial, Malaysia
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

A24-203 was one of three RAAF Catalina aircraft tasked to lay mines off the Pescadores. The aircraft departed Lingayen Gulf at 1630 hours on 7 March 1945 and nothing further was heard from it. The crew members of A24-203 were:

Warrant Officer Walter Voss Bates (410296) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Keith McClement Caulley (405902) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer James Reginald Cleworth (419457) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Alfred Russell Jones (67893) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Malcolm Oswald Merrett (412995) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant William Alan Rowe (68674) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Ross William Schulz (417318) (Pilot)
Sergeant Walter Douglas Scott (73252) (Armourer / Air Gunner)
Sergeant Donald Kelway Storrie (19805) (Fitter II Airframe / Air Gunner)

The other Catalina aircraft in the operation were captained by:

Flying Officer Anthony Noel Lee Atkinson DFC (410827) (No. 43 Squadron) Discharged 13 July 1945
Squadron Leader Arthur Gregory Fletcher (O2332) (No. 43 Squadron) Discharged 25 January 1952


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, 149
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991

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