Flight Sergeant John Charles SHIPARD

Service No: 416895
Born: Streaky Bay SA, 9 April 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 October 1941
Unit: No. 458 Squadron, Bone, Algeria
Died: Air Operations (No. 458 Squadron Wellington aircraft MP704), Mediterranean Sea, 23 January 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: At Sea
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry and Emma Shipard; husband of Roma Edith Alice Shipard, of Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 16, Column 2, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

The Squadron Operations Record Book records “As a result of an alleged sighting by a Baltimore reconnaissance off the east coast of Sicily, 6 Wellingtons left Bone for Malta at 0800 hours on 23 January 1944 arriving at 11.30 hours. A sortie was later carried out in an area east of Malta and south of Sicily and Italy. No subs were sighted. The port engine of one of the Wellingtons (Flying Officer Markey) cut out and caught fire at 1000 feet while on patrol at 2230 hours on the night of 23/ January and the aircraft was forced to ditch in position 37.31N 16.25E. The ditching was not successful and there were only two survivors Flying Officer Bartlett Flight Sergeant Huntley, both of whom were rescued by a British destroyer and admitted to the Royal Navy sick bay at Augusta.
Flight Sergeant Shipard was also picked up but he died aboard ship and was buried at sea.

The crew members of MP704 were:

Flying Officer Joseph William Bartlett (405620) (Second Pilot) Rescued, Discharged from the RAAF: 8 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Arthur John Huntley (410488) (Wireless Operator Air) Rescued, Killed on air operations: 19 April 1944
Flying Officer John Reginald Markey (403429) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Thomas Richard Rogers (425372) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant John Charles Shipard (416895) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Leo Crampton Taylor (410397) (Wireless Operator Air)


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, 166/37/306

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