Warrant Officer Frank Wallace WEST

Service No: 405987
Born: Ipswich QLD, 13 October 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 July 1941
Unit: No. 13 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 13 Squadron Baltimore aircraft FW317), Italy, 26 July 1944, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Beachhead War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Archibald Harold and Lydia Sarah West, of Toowong, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2215 hours on 26 July 1944 Baltimore FW317 took off from Cessina airfield to carry out an armed reconnaissance in the Florence/Bologna area. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. Two other aircraft from the Squadron on the same mission reported seeing an aircraft crash at 2318 hours in the Pontassieve area. The weather was fine with a moonlight night, no cloud and good visibility. No 5 Missing Research and Enquiry Unit reported in 1947 that “the wreck of FW317 was located near Firenzuola, and according to a farmer on whose land the aircraft crashed the crew of four was killed.”

The crew members of FW317 were:

Warrant Officer Jack Finlow (40561) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Lieutenant David Drenel Laird (J/21258) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer James Phillips McCarter (130567) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer Frank Wallace West (405987) (Wireless Operator Air)


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, 166/43/787

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