LEST WE FORGET

Warrant Officer William Douglas WEBSTER

Service No: 412866
Born: Kempsey NSW, 21 April 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1941
Unit: No. 459 Squadron, St Jean
Died: Air Operations: (No. 459 Squadron Ventura aircraft JT838), Greece, 28 June 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ronald Macleay Saul and Eliza Webster; husband of Dora Jean Webster, of Riverstone, New South Wales. Australia
Roll of Honour: Kempsey NSW
Remembered: Column 282, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 28 June 1944, eight aircraft from No. 459 Squadron took part on a raid on Rhodes Harbour, Greece. The anti-aircraft fire was reported as more intense that had been previously experienced and it is believed that JT838 may have been shot down over water. A distress message was received by some of the attacking aircraft, but searches over the following three days failed to find any trace of the aircraft or its crew members.

The crew members of JT838 were:

Flying Officer Donald Ernest Higgs (410549) (Navigator)
Flying Officer Keith Pond (423885) (Pilot)
Warrant Officer Leslie Alfred Smith (421486) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer William Douglas Webster (412866) (Wireless Air Gunner)

The pilots of the other seven aircraft were:

Flight Lieutenant George William Andrews (414877) Discharged from the RAAF: 27 February 1948
Flight Lieutenant Arnold Glyn Jones (412968) Discharged from the RAAF: 5 August 1946
Flight Lieutenant Robert Henry Norman (414727) Discharged from the RAAF: 10 December 1945
Flight Lieutenant Gordon Page (9425) (O31453) Discharged from the RAAF: 3 June 1955
Flying Officer Keith Felgate Titley (423935) Discharged from the RAAF: 8 April 1946
Flying officer Andrew Martin Towey (413047) Discharged from the RAAF: 21 December 1945
Flying Officer Ian Marsh Yeates (9301) Killed in Air Operations: 14 July 1944

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9816, 145 (No. 459 Squadron Unit History)

Bibliography:

Kane-Maguire L. (Leon) Desert Scorpions: 459 Squadron RAAF 1942-1945, Australian Military History Publications Loftus NSW 2232, 2007