Sergeant Lawrence Leslie WINTER

Service No: 28395
Born: Quorn SA, 17 August 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 14 January 1941
Unit: No. 4 Squadron, Bomana PNG
Died: Murdered (following the loss of No. 4 Squadron Wirraway aircraft A20-51 on 11 December 1942), near Buna PNG, 11 December 1942, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, PNG
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Augustus and Alice Maud Mary Winter; husband of Beryl Margaret Winter, of Collinswood, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Prospect SA
Remembered: Panel 98, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 1 December 1942, Wirraway A20-51 took off at 0958 hours from the Berry aerodrome and it crashed between Berry and Buna, Papua New Guinea. A20-51 was flying No 3 in a six aircraft formation, detailed to carry out dive bombing attacks in the Buna area. The formation was flying to gain height to pass through the Gap, but before the formation reached that position heavy rain cloud was encountered.

Flying Officer Dineen and Sergeant Winter flying in A20-51 became separated from the formation shortly after entering cloud and could not find any way through the mountains. Flying Officer Dineen decided to abandon the aircraft and instructed his observer to bale out which he did. Dineen followed, and on landing followed a river downstream for three days during which he accidentally shot himself in the foot while trying to shoot a duck. He walked for another day and a half before reaching a native village. Natives carried him to Naru and he reported to Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) officers at Naru about his missing Observer and he was told that the natives were hostile in the area he had landed.

The crew members of A20-51 were:

Flying Officer (later Flight Lieutenant) Arthur Kenneth Dineen (400972) (Pilot) Baled out, Discharged from the RAAF: 20 March 1945
Sergeant Leslie Lawrence Winter (28395) (Air Gunner) Baled out, Murdered


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 103


RAAF Directorate of Public Relations, RAAF Log, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 1943 – Page 61
Wilson, S. (Stewart) Wirraway, Boomerang and CA-15 in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1991

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