WATT Maxwell Birdwood 415456

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Maxwell Birdwood WATT

Service No: 415456
Born: Laura SA, 16 October 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1941 (at Perth WA)
Unit: No. 106 Squadron (RAF), RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 106 Squadron Lancaster aircraft W4256), Netherlands, 26 June 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Wieringen (Hippolytushoef) General Cemetery, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Falconer Watt and Sarah May Watt, of Cuballing, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Narrogin WA
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster W4256 took off from RAF Syerston at 2345 hours on the night of 25/26th June 1943, detailed to bomb Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A later report by a Missing Research and Enquiry team operating in Holland stated: “The aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed a short distance north of Wieringen on 26th June 1943, and all the crew were killed.”

The crew members of W4256 were:

Sergeant John Frederick Bates (1294682) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer James Edgar Donald Craigie (J/22535) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Eric Charles Crook (1447786) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Gerald William Board Enright (147316) (RAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Edwin Thomas Harding (1531330) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Maxwell Birdwood Watt (415456) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stephen George White (1318824) (RAFVR) (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, 166/43/240