LEST WE FORGET

Flying Officer Geoffrey SILVA DFC

Service No: 402258
Born: Inverell NSW, 19 March 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 July 1940
Unit: No. 210 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Hamworthy
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 210 Squadron Catalina aircraft RP232), Bay of Biscay, 13 June 1943, Aged 27 years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick Henry Emanuel and Amy Eveline Silva, of Bowral, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Inverell NSW
Remembered: Panel 189, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

DFC Citation: In July 1942, Pilot Officer Silva captained an aircraft detailed to attack Dusseldorf. Whilst over the target area the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire. The wireless operator was wounded and the rear turret was damaged. Despite this, the attack was pressed home and the target bombed successfully. Shortly after leaving the objective the aircraft was intercepted by an enemy fighter, fire from which caused considerable damage. In most hazardous circumstances Pilot Officer Silva displayed courage and fortitude in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force.

While serving with No. 24 Operational training Unit, Flying Officer Silva piloting a Whitley aircraft was shot down on 30 July 1942 near Charleroi, France while on a mission to bomb Dusseldorf, Germany and he evaded capture and returned to the UK.

At about 1900 hours on 13 June 1943 Catalina RP232 took off from Hamworthy to carry out a patrol in Bay of Biscay and was to return to Base on the afternoon of 14 June. The aircraft failed to return and crew members were presumed lost at sea.

The crew members of RP232 were:

Flying Officer Robert Beckett Albon (401358) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Nicholas John Brokenshire (649613) (RAF)
Flight Sergeant Stanley Charles Everitt (908043) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Benjamin Joseph Fosh (1475300) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer William Reginald Gardiner (51700) (RAF)
Sergeant Anthony Kenneth Hodges (955769) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Henry Robert Meares (1231664) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer William Randolph (123456) (RAFVR)
Sergeant James Reid (936510) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Geoffrey Silva DFC (402258) (Pilot)

References:

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, 163/57/213