LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Thomas Charles STEVENS

Service No: 9452
Born: Nhill VIC, 11 July 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 February 1940
Unit: No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 5 Operational Training Unit Beaufort aircraft AW277), Northern Ireland, 29 March 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Belfast City Cemetery, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Thomas Stevens and Janet Stevens; husband of Margaret Elva Jean Stevens, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Ballarat VIC
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 29 March 1943 Beaufort AW277 was detailed to carry out a non-operational night navigation exercise. The aircraft was returning from the exercise and had several fixes which placed the aircraft on track, the last fix being less than 20 miles from the aerodrome. The aircraft signalled X257 approximately 3 minutes before it flew into electric cables at 0400 hours on 29 March, at Colin Mountain, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. All the crew members were killed in the crash.

The crew members of AW277 were:

Sergeant William Alexander McKinley (1080089) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Peter Henry Ryder (1293932) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Edward Francis Hunter Stephens (1312371) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Thomas Charles Stevens (9452) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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, 166/38/81