LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Alfred George WILSON

Service No: 426195
Born: Maryborough QLD, 29 August 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 23 May 1942
Unit: No. 36 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 36 Squadron Wellington aircraft HF296), Algeria, 4 March 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery, Algeria
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Sloan Wilson and Elizabeth Wilson, of Pialba, Queensland, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 132, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Returning to base after a convoy patrol on 4 March 1944, Wellington HF296 crashed near Bonyai at 2035 hours. The aircraft was endeavouring to land in adverse weather conditions and efforts were made to divert the aircraft to another aerodrome but without success.

At take off the weather was forecast as fully operational for the return of the aircraft at 2030 hours. At 2015 hours the weather had greatly deteriorated and was non-operational. At 2020 hours a message diverting the aircraft to Baghai was transmitted. This message had been received by HF296 after it had struck a high tension cable on the aerodrome circuit causing general power failure, including the flare path and radio stations. It was established that the crew of ‘HF296 had logged in the message before the aircraft crashed with total loss of the aircraft and the crew of six.  According to eye witnesses the aircraft did another circuit after hitting the high tension cable then seemed to lose height rapidly and crashed west of the aerodrome.

The crew members of HF296 were:

Sergeant Charles Frederick Davy (1289025) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Kenneth Kirk (1174509) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Michael Quinlan (J/85433) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant James Shoolbread (1116919) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Eric Raymond Stannard (122246) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Alfred George Wilson (426195) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/43/549