LEST WE FORGET
Flying Officer George Ivan ROWLANDS
Service No: 425223
Born: Springsure QLD, 6 December 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 January 1942
Unit: No. 22 Squadron, Noemfoor Island
Died: Air Operations: (No. 22 Squadron Boston aircraft A28-55), Netherlands East Indies, 23 September 1944, Aged 25 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William James Rowlands and Agnes Rowlands, of Springsure, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 8, Ambon Memorial, Indonesia
Remembered: Panel 101, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Boston A28-55 went missing during an offensive sweep around Kai Island on 23 September 1944.
A28-55 was one of four aircraft detailed to carry out a barge sweep in the vicinity of the Kai Islands, Dutch New Guinea. On completion of the operation, and when the formation was turning out to sea, crews of the other aircraft from a distance of 300 feet, saw A28-55 commence to smoke from the cockpit. The flames grew rapidly and Flight Lieutenant Murrie was seen to jettison his hatch and abandon the aircraft. His parachute failed to open and he fell into the water. The aircraft crashed into the sea from an altitude of about 200 feet, about 1.5 miles from the shore, and the other crew member was not seen to leave the aircraft.
Another aircraft circled the scene for 30 minutes, but apart from a half inflated dinghy and petrol tank, not trace of the crew was seen. Following a search of the area in 1945, it was believed that the aircraft was shot down by a Japanese ack-ack naval battery guarding the coast in the vicinity of Etar, on the south east coast of Little Kai Island. The aircraft crashed in the sea, and the Japanese went to the spot in a boat but found nothing.
The crew members of A28-55 were:
Flight Lieutenant Glen Inglis Murrie MID (416600) (Pilot)
Flying Officer George Ivan Rowlands (425223) (Navigator)
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 A705, 166/36/360
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992