Pilot Officer Francis Frey STOKES

Service No: 402890
Born: Tamworth NSW, 10 January 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 November 1940
Unit: No. 12 Radio School (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 12 Radio School Anson aircraft EG220), Bristol Channel area, 29 December 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Allan Frey Stokes and Henrietta Ives Stokes, of Bugaldie, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Bugaldie NSW
Remembered: Panel 191, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 130, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

The crew of Anson EG220 were briefed to search for an Oxford aircraft missing from the morning training flight on 29 December 1943. EG220 took off at 1335 hours and proceeded on a square search around a position 12 miles from St Athan on a bearing of 260 degrees – the last known position of the Oxford. After searching this area EG220 was ordered to search along the northern edge on the Radio School flying area, which extends to the St Goven lightship south of Pembroke Dock, and to return to base by 1630 hours. At 1615 the weather was cloudy 6/10ths with a base of 1/2000 feet and visibility 6-10 miles. Various messages were received from EG 220 with the final message sent at 1622 hours “I am closing down now” which is the normal closing down signal prior to landing. As the aircraft did not land, flying control was notified at 1645 hours and search procedures instituted. The following day all available aircraft conducted searches without success. Following further investigations and enquiries, it was recorded in 1949 that the missing crew members had lost their lives at sea in the Bristol Channel area.

The crew members of EG220 were:

Flying Officer Ronald Gibson (151559) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Thomas Guthrie (156316) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Francis Frey Stokes (402890) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)


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, 166/38/390

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