LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Hickson William SKINNER

Service No: 407977
Born: Kensington Gardens SA, 12 June 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 February 1941
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Plymouth
Died: Air Operations (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft W39850, North Atlantic, 18 August 1943, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Henry and Elsie Julia Skinner, of Tranmere, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 187, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the 18th August 1943, Sunderland W3985 took off at 1026 hours authorised to carry out an anti submarine patrol. At 1850 hours an enemy aircraft attacking signal was immediately followed by an SOS were received by RAF Station St Eval. An approximate bearing of 222 degrees was taken. Nothing further was heard from the aircraft which failed to return to base.

The crew members of W3985 were:

Sergeant Alfred Ramsey Aldridge (5226) (Fitter 11A)
Flight Sergeant Hugh Edward Burbidge (414990) (Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Victor Denis William Collins (409027) (Co-Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Donald Stanyon Croxford (655726) (RAFVR) (Supernumerary)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Arthur Gibbs (402704) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Walter Paul Greatz (19707) (Fitter 2B)
Pilot Officer William Noel Hill (401820) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth Morwick Meldrum (404754) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Norman Henry Orford (51797) (Armourer)
Flight Lieutenant Hickson William Skinner (407977) (Pilot)
Sergeant Walter Slater (19194) (Flight Engineer)
Flying Officer Ronald Ross Swinson (414966) (Co-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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/37/182
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

Bibliography:

Ashworth, N. (Norman) The ANZAC Squadron: A history of No. 461 Squadron RAAF 1942-5, Hesperian Press Victoria Park WA 6100, 1994
Baff, K.C (Kevin), Maritime is Number Ten, K.C. Baff Netley SA, 1983
Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990
Joubert, P.B. (Sir Phillip Bennet) Birds and Fishes: the story of Coastal Command, Hutchinson and Company London, 1960
Southall, I.F. (Ivan Francis) (418900) They Shall Not Pass Unseen, Angus and Robertson Sydney NSW, 1956
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Anson, Hudson and Sunderland in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1992