Flying Officer Colin Ritchie SHADE

Service No: 403398
Born: Newcastle NSW, 26 December 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 6 January 1941
Unit: No. 8 Squadron, Tadji PNG
Died: Air Operations: (No. 8 Squadron Beaufort aircraft A9-630), New Guinea, 24 January 1945, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Mary Shade, of Haberfield, New South Wales.
Remembered: Panel 6, Lae Memorial, PNG
Roll of Honour: Haberfield NSW
Remembered: Panel 99, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: St David’s Haberfield World War II Roll of Honour, Haberfield NSW
Remembered: St David’s World War II Memorial Plaque, Haberfield

Flying Officer Shade survived the crash of Wellington aircraft X3961 near Lichfield, Shropshire, UK, on 11 December 1942 in which Sergeant Harold Peter Wishart (401728) was fatally injured.

The RAAF rescue ship had been grappling with a breakaway convoy of American barges in the rough sea (near Wewak), and on a fruitless search for Flying Officer Sam Clarke’s Beaufort crew which had failed to return from a night mission on 24 January 1945. Clarke, a former West Australian interstate footballer, with navigator Flying Officer Colin Shade and wireless air gunners Flying Officer Denis Gurney and Warrant Officer Allan Giles, had comprised a “new” crew, only recently from the South, and to whom local conditions were an unknown quantity.

Extract from Graham, B. (Burton) and Frank Smyth, A Nation Grew Wings: The Story of the RAAF Beaufort Squadrons in New Guinea, Winterset House Publishers Melbourne VIC, 1946 – Page 217

On 24 January 1945, Beaufort A9-630 failed to return from an anti-submarine patrol. The crew members were:

Flying Officer Sydney Campbell Clarke (427498) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Allan Francis Giles (404670) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Denis Albert Gurney (402595) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Colin Ritchie Shade (403398) (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 A9845, 264
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

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