LEST WE FORGET
Leading Aircraftman Brian Charles James WILCOX
Service No: 8137
Born: Exeter SA, 6 June 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 January 1940
Unit: No. 11 Squadron, Port Moresby PNG
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 11 Squadron Catalina aircraft A24-11), Kavieng, 15 January 1942, Aged 21 Years
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Walter and Lilla Rebecca Wilcox, of Exeter, South Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 36, Rabaul Memorial, PNG
Remembered: Panel 100, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide
Remembered: Catalina Base Memorial, Rathmines NSW
Remembered: Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club, Rathmines NSW
The Catalinas of Nos. 11 and 20 Squadrons were now called on to attempt an attack on the Truk base. The pilots chosen for the operation were Squadron Leader Price (1), Squadron Leader Davies, Flight Lieutenant Hemsworth (260275), Flight Lieutenant Thompson (2), Flight Lieutenant Beaumont (260), and Lieutenant G. H. Hutchinson (3) of the United States Navy, then serving with No. 11 Squadron. On 15th January, Davies, Hutchinson and Beaumont took their aircraft to Kavieng for refuelling while the other three went to Lorengau. In taking off from Kavieng the Catalina piloted by Davies crashed. All the crew and the aircraft were lost. Hutchinson brought his aircraft down at the scene of the crash in a vain attempt to rescue the crew.
(1) Wing Commander Thomas MacBride Price (172) was discharged from the RAAF on 23 March 1945.
(2) Wing Commander Charles Frederick Thompson DFC (260286) was discharged from the RAAF on 5 October 1945.
(3) Lieutenant Hutchinson was the Captain of Catalina A24-9 (Pilot Officer Thomas Nicoll Rowe (400293) (Second Pilot)) shot down on 21 January 1942.
Extract from Gillison, D.N. (Douglas Napier) (254475) Royal Australian Air Force 1939-1942, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1962 – Page 321
The crew members of A24-11 were:
Leading Aircraftman Frederick Henry Anthony (11085) (Wireless Operator)
Squadron Leader Thomas Henry Davies MID (163) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Russell Glentworth Hender (406105) (Second Pilot)
Leading Aircraftman Leslie Thomas Hoare (20549) (Flight Mechanic)
Corporal Henry Wilmot Hornby (7118) (Fitter II Airframe)
Leading Aircraftman John Henry Marks (33898) (Fitter Armourer)
Leading Aircraftman Charles Ogilvie (32081) (Fitter II Airframe)
Leading Aircraftman Brian Charles James Wilcox (8137) (Wireless Operator)
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 A705, 163/178/258
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line
McFarlane, C.C. (Cyrus C.) Tojo’s Fate: Australia’s secret war, Sid Harta Publishers Glen Waverley VIC 3150, 2009
McMillan A. (Andrew) Catalina Dreaming: rescues exciting missions and other stories about the famous Australian flying boats of WWII, Duffy and Snellgrove Potts Point NSW, 2002
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Catalina, Neptune and Orion in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991