Flight Lieutenant Laurence Gerard SULLIVAN DFM

Service No: 409250
Born: Hamilton VIC, 27 September 1912
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 2 Gunnery Research Unit (RAF)
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM), 30 November 1943
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 2 Gunnery Research Unit Mosquito aircraft HS891), Yorkshire, 10 January 1945, Aged 32 Years
Buried: Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Henry and Ellen Frances Sullivan, of Macarthur, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Macarthur VIC
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Sergeant Maurice Anthony Sullivan GM (400359)

DFM Citation: “Sergeant Sullivan joined No. 150 Squadron (RAF) on 26 June 1943, and has operated against the Germans in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. He has carried out 37 successful sorties involving 251 operational hours. The majority of his attacks have been against well defended targets and his photographs show that he has exercised great courage and determination in pressing them home. He has flown in direct support of our landing troops when Sicily was invaded and carried out some highly effective precision bombing. He has also been very successful in attacking beach targets at low level at Cap Bon and Messina when the enemy were withdrawing. His behaviour throughout has shown a high degree of determination, courage and devotion to duty and I therefore recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal. (London Gazette 30 November 1943)

On the 10 January 1945, Mosquito HS891 was detailed to carry out a non-operational low level day cross country flight. Five crews were briefed for the same cross country flight. Crews were warned that snowflakes may be encountered, and were to fly around them, but if unable to do so then to turn back. Four of the aircraft completed the flight, but HS891 crashed when it hit a tree in poor visibility at Percy Farm, near Warram, East Yorkshire. An Inquiry into the accident found that “the accident could have been avoided if the Pilot had obeyed instructions.”

The crew members of HS891 were:

Flying Officer Dudley Edgar Ball DFC (420849) (Navigator)
Flight Lieutenant Laurence Gerard Sullivan DFM (409250) (Pilot)


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, 166/38/864

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