Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Talbot WILKS

Service No: 419430
Born: Malvern VIC, 31 March 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 11 August 1942
Unit: No. 619 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Dunholme Lodge
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 619 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ME742), North Sea, 23 April 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Herbert Findon Arthur and Elizabeth Jean Wilks; husband of Bessie Kathleen Doreen Wilks, of Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Geelong VIC
Remembered: Panel 262, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2100 hours on 23 April 1944 Lancaster ME742 took off from RAF Dunholme Lodge to carry out a non operational night training flight. The training was a fighter and searchlight affiliation exercise. At about 2300 hours the aircraft was seen to be flying on track and illuminated by searchlight beams at 12/13000 feet. It was held for 2 to 3 minutes during which time it carried out defensive manoeuvres and then disappeared for about 10 seconds in cloud. As it reappeared there was an orange flash and the aircraft was heard to dive at high speed. The dive continued until it crashed into the sea some 2/3 miles off Hornsea on the Yorkshire coast. Two bodies were recovered and it was recorded that the remaining five missing crew members had lost their lives at sea.

The crew members of ME742 were:

Pilot Officer John Broomfield (54634) (RAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ernest George Emsley (1894515) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) Remains recovered
Sergeant Kenneth William Percival Hunt (1396680) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Douglas William Anthony Kersey (1324503) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Frederick Liege Tucker (1891569) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Frederick Ernest William Veal (1603709) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) Remains recovered
Flight Sergeant Geoffrey Talbot Wilks (419430) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)


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, 166/43/631

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