LEST WE FORGET

Pilot Officer Norman George STEER

Service No: 437282
Born: Norwood SA, 23 March 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1942
Unit: No. 455 Squadron, RAF Langham, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NV431), West Frisian Islands, 15 October 1944, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Allen Steer and Frances Steer; husband of Dorothy Baines Steer, of Prospect, South Australia. Judges’ Associate
Roll of Honour: Adelaide SA
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Beaufighter NV431 took off from RAF Langham, Norfolk at 0550 hours on 15 October 1944 to carry out an offensive sweep off the West Frisian Islands. Six aircraft from the Squadron took part in the mission and one of these NV 431 failed to return. When the aircraft were on patrol at 0700 hours four armed trawlers were sighted and attacked. Visibility 2-3 miles, cloud base low. Moderate light anti-aircraft fire was experienced and NV 431 was seen ditching after the attack with the starboard engine on fire. Later the aircraft sighted a dinghy containing two survivors who appeared unhurt and waving. It was presumed they would be picked up by the German ASR service as the
dinghy was only a few miles from the enemy coast. The dinghy sighting was reported to base.
Sadly neither crew member survived.

The crew members of NV431 were:

Flying Officer Basil Trevor Roberts (434107) (Navigator Wireless)
Pilot Officer Norman George Steer (437282) (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, 166/38/723

Bibliography:

Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951