Flight Sergeant Morris William SHAPIR

Service No: 400357
Born: Melbourne VIC, 9 September 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 August 1940
Unit: No. 108 Squadron (RAF), Egypt
Died: Air Operations: (No. 108 Squadron Wellington aircraft DV 676), Egypt, 15 August 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eleazer and Rosetta Blanche Shapir, of Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Caulfield VIC
Remembered: Column 265, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Flight Sergeant Shapir was injured in the crash of No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft R1765 on 22 October 1941.

Wellington DV 676 was returning from a mission over Tobruk on 15 August 1942, when its engines cut out and it made a forced landing in the desert at night in the Qattara Depression, Egypt. The aircraft hit a hill was badly damaged and all the crew seriously injured. The crew was rescued by a tank patrol of the 4th Hussars. Flight Sergeant Shapir’s body was removed from the aircraft and buried nearby and the wrecked aircraft destroyed. The location was 15 miles due south of Minqar Zahr El Himar, and approximately 48 miles south south west of Alem el Gill. One other member of the crew later died of his injuries.

The crew members of DV676 were:

Sergeant Alfred Ronald Beavan (1269424) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot) Fatally injured, Died: 18 August 1942
Sergeant Jack Gordon Bond (400690) (Pilot) Killed in an Aircraft Accident: 18 July 1945
Sergeant D Rodden (1057984) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Flight Sergeant Morris William Shapir (400357) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer F H Smith (104479) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant (later Wing Commander) Alfred Alen Taylor DFC (404306) (Rear Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 8 February 1955

Post war searches failed to locate the grave of Flight Sergeant Shapir.


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, 163/161/147

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