Flight Lieutenant Clifford Allan SATCHWELL

Service No: 400736
Born: Footscray VIC, 3 February 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 October 1940
Unit: No. 30 Squadron
Died: Air Operations: (No. 30 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft A19-174), PNG, 13 July 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Egbert Thomas Satchwell and May Lavinia Satchwell, of Balwyn, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Camberwell VIC
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial PNG
Remembered: Panel 102, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the morning of 13 July 1944, five Beaufighters were detailed to carry out a barge sweeps in the Dandriwad River to Muschu Island area. The sweeps were arranged in three flights, so that aircraft could relieve each other at intervals of approximately two hours. The first flight consisting of A19-179 (Flight Lieutenant Jack Tipton Sandford DSO DFC (400602) (Discharged: 1 June 1945) and A19-174 (Flight Lieutenant Satchwell) took off from Tadji at 0130 hours and proceeded independently. Radio contact was made and a barge between Ninawau River and But was attacked by both aircraft. Answering fire was observed from the barge. At approximately 0230 hours, A19-174 made a strafing run on the barge from the south-west. As the aircraft passed over the barge, a stream of tracer shot vertically into the air. Flight Lieutenant Satchwell intimated over the radio that his aircraft was on fire and Flight Lieutenant Sandford immediately called up PT boats. The Observer in A19-179 then pointed out a light in the sky, at approximately 800 feet and to the west of his aircraft and judged it to be fire from A19-174. Almost immediately, A19-174 was seen to drop away to the water and A19-179 saw a large patch of foam. Within five minutes, PT boats located and arrived at the spot where A19-174 was seen to crash in the water. A17-179 circled the area for an hour and a Beaufort aircraft dropped flares. Various pieces of wreckage were picked up by the PT boats. Flight Lieutenant Sandford again searched the area in daylight but no trace of the missing crew was seen.

The crew members of A19-174 were:

Warrant Officer James William McNamara (32546) (Navigator)
Flight Lieutenant Clifford Allan Satchwell (400736) (Pilot)


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/37/468; A9845, 19


Parnell, N.M. (Neville M.) Whispering Death: A history of the RAAF’s Beaufighter Squadrons, AH & AW Reed, Terry Hills NSW, 1980
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

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