LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant John Ronald SPEIRS

Service No: 422010
Born: Marrickville NSW, 23 September 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 April 1942
Unit: No. 10 Squadron, RAF Mount Batten, Devon
Died: Air Operations: (No. 10 Squadron Sunderland aircraft DP 179), North Atlantic Ocean, 3 October 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George William and Edith May Speirs, of Griffith, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Griffith NSW
Remembered: Panel 193, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Griffith Cenotaph, Griffith NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW

On the night of 2/3rd October 1943, Sunderland DP 179 took off at 2315 hours, detailed to carry out a Percussion L-2 anti-submarine patrol. At 0747 hours on the 3rd October, a message was received at base from DP 179, “returning to base engine trouble. My position is 48.05N 09.40W.” At 0755 hours DP 179 acknowledged a signal from base instructing a radio frequency change to 333 kcs. Nothing further was heard, and the aircraft failed to return to base. Searches were conducted with no success.

The crew members of DP 179 were:

Flying Officer David Anderson (408946) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Bruce Alan Bunning (410303) (Third Pilot)
Sergeant Humphrey Coldham-Fussell (8710) (Fitter 11E)
Flying Officer John Bryant Gleeson (410482) (Observer)
Sergeant Philip Leslie Johnson (27191) (Wireless Maintenance Mechanic)
Flight Lieutenant Frederick John Lees (407901) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Galway Lockrey (423203) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Bruce Duncan Michael McDonell (426651) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant William Henry Powis (419671) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Ronald Speirs (422010) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Bruce Edward Stehr (15805) (Fitter 11E)

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, 166/38/300
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line