Pilot Officer Geoffrey Maxwell WALDIE

Service No: 400243
Born: Woolwich, England, 14 January 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1940 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 142 Squadron (RAF), Blida, Algeria
Died: Air Operations: (No. 142 Squadron Wellington aircraft DF732), off the Tunisian Coast, 19 January 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George and Therese Eileen Waldie, of Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 11, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 131, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2352 hours on 18 January 1943 Wellington DF732 took off from Blida detailed to attack Bizerta Docks. Having dropped its bombs, DF732 circled off-shore to observe the efforts of the main attack. The night was bright moonlight with no cloud. DF732 was attacked by a JU88 night fighter, which made four attacks, setting the starboard engine, the mainplane and a portable oxygen bottle stored amidships on fire. The engagement was then broken off. The Captain of DF732 thinking it would be necessary to abandon the aircraft, ordered the crew to stand by to do so. The Rear Gunner, Pilot Officer Waldie evidently misunderstood the order and in the excitement of the moment baled out. The aircraft’s position at the time was approximately 2 miles east of the Bizerta Docks over the sea. As the fires were shortly afterwards extinguished, the Captain decided to remain with the machine and eventually reached base and crash landed some 3 hours later. The four remaining crew members were uninjured. Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was recorded in 1948 that Pilot Officer Waldie had lost his life at sea.

The crew members of DF732 were:

Squadron Leader T F Booth (37958) (RAF) (Pilot and Aircraft Captain)
Sergeant J Edwards (1317475) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Edward William Salmond DFM (403958) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Discharged from the RAAF: 17 January 1946
Pilot Officer Geoffrey Maxwell Waldie (400243) (Rear Gunner)
Pilot Officer J Whitewood (1266086) (RAFVR) (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)


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, 166/43/24

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