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No. 15 Squadron
John Douglas 2001
|Pilot FLGOFF William Walker Parker, 415045 (KIA, BR) Glasgow, Scotland
Observer WOFF James Alexander Chapman, 410544 (KIA, BR) Warrnambool, VIC
WAG WOFF Ronald Eardley Douch, 412499 (KIA, BR) Willoughby, NSW
WAG FLGOFF Keith Gillan, 401749 (KIA, BR) Yea, VIC
Passenger Lt. Col Alan Binnie, NX12184 AIF 2 Air Liaison Group, Headquarters (KIA, BR)
Crashed March 25, 1945
Built by the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP) at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne. On November 29, 1943 delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as Beaufort Mark VIII serial number A9-518.
On February 9, 1944 assigned to No. 15 Squadron based at Camden Airfield in New South Wales (NSW). No known nickname or nose art.
On March 1, 1944 at 11:15pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Parker on a cross country flight to Dubbo.
On March 14, 1944 at 3:35am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Parker on a training flight for fighter affiliation landing at 4:55am.
On April 11, 1944 at 9:11am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Veitch on a training flight patrol DR1 returning at 12:06pm.
On April 28, 1944 at 6:50am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Parker on a training flight for search light cooperation landing at 8:35pm.
On May 7, 1944 at 12:30pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Parker on a training mission for Army cooperation landing at 1:45pm.
On May 30, 1944 at 11:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Parker on Ops. Cam. 43 a split wasp patrols escort force GH comprising Saratoga and three destroyers landing at 4:10pm.
On June 21, 1944 at 7:05pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by W/O Parker on a training flight for Army cooperation landing at 9:00pm.
On July 20, 1944 at 2:50pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Holcombe on a search mission of area SB and returned at 6:00pm.
On August 18, 1944 at 8:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by W/O Johnston on a low level cross country flight to Clarencetown landing at 10:00am.
On September 28, 1944 at 9:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/O Silock on a training cross country flight to Lowood, Seawards and return landing at 12:45pm.
On October 2, 1944 at 8:30am took off Camden Airfield piloted by W/O Johnston on a cross country flight to Lowood and return at 5:30pm.
On October 6, 1944 at 6:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/L Kennard on a flight to Nyngan-Bennallan-M'coota (Mallacoota) then back to base at 5:00pm.
On October 11, 1944 at 9:00am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/O Ross on a flight from Lowood and returned at 11:00am.
On October 18, 1944 at 9:00am took off Camden Airfield piloted by W/O Johnston on a training flight Narromine-Canberra landing at 4:55pm.
On October 31, 1944 at 8:00am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/O Silcock on a patrol mission over Fraser Island and Bundaberg then back to base landing at 6:30pm.
On November 1, 1944 at 7:50am took off from Camden Airfield piloted by P/O Parker on a cross country flight to Fraser Island, Bundaberg, Amberly, Lowood and back to base landing at 5:40pm.
On November 22, 1944 at 7:20pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by W/O Woolhouse on a training flight with search light cooperation landing at 9:30pm.
On November 28, 1944 at 9:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/O Ross on a training flight for camera gunnery and fighter affiliation landing at 10:15pm.
On December 8, 1944 at 10:00am took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/O Clunne on a training flight for radar calibration landing at 11:50am.
On December 15, 1944 at 3:50am took off Camden Airfield piloted by P/O Parker on CAM 43/2 flying patrol area S. H. landing at 7:10am.
On December 16, 1944 at 5:30pm took off Camden Airfield piloted by F/S Holcombe on CAM 48/6 flying patrol area S.H. landing at 8:00pm.
On December 24, 1944 at 4:05am took off Camden Airfield piloted by P/O Parker on CAM 25/1 flying patrol area S. C. landing at 6:55am.
On December 27, 1944 at 3:55am took off Camden Airfield piloted by P/O Parker on CAM 36/2 anti-submarine patrol in area from Coffs Harbor to Bega and landed 9:40am.
On January 2, 1945 at 9:15am took off Camden Airfield piloted by P/O Parker on CAM 7/4 on anti-submarine patrol in the area from Newcastle to Bega and landed at 3:25pm.
During March 1945 ferried from Camden Airfield northward to Madang Airfield in New Guinea.
On March 25, 1945 took off from Madang Airfield piloted by F/O William W. Parker on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Sepik River. Aboard was passenger Lt. Col Alan Binnie, Australian Army 2 Air Liaison Group, Headquarters. When this aircraft failed to return it was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, this Beaufort crashed near Murik Lakes killing the entire crew on impact.
Afterwards, extensive searches were made and no trace was found of this aircraft or crew
During 1946, this Beaufort was found crashed into a forested area. As of 2001, the tail was largely intact and the right side has the RAAF fin flash still visible. The wreckage includes at least one .303 machine gun.
Recovery of Remains
When the crash site was found in 1946, the remains of the five crew were recovered. Chapman and Binnie were individually identified. The other three were not individually identified.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. After the recovery of remains, the entire crew was buried at Lae War Cemetery. Chapman at N. A. 9. Binnie at N. A. 10. Parker, Gillan and Douch in collective grave N. A. 12-14. Parker's grave has the epitaph: "In the shadow of his wings. Ever Remembered. Our Beloved Son." Douch's grave has the epitaph: "sleep on dear son. Duty to your country nobly done."
NAA RAAF Unit History sheets [Operations Record Book] Number 15 Squadron (NAA: A9186, 37) pages 18, 20, 26, 27, 32, 33, 41, 47, 54, 61, 66, 67, 68, 69, 72, 74, 75, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 100. 102
(Page 102) Camden 25/3/45. Beaufort aircraft with Flying Officer W. Parker (415045) as pilot, 410544 Warrant Officer Chapman, A. J. as Nav. B. (412499) Warrant Officer Douch R. as WAG. (401749) W/O Gillan. K. as WAG and Lt. Colonel Binney as passenger reported missing on air operation over the Sepik. Dutch (sic, Territory of New Guinea) New Guinea area and after an extensive search no trace was found of aircraft or crew.
AFD Serials - Beaufort A9-518 lists target as Madang and passenger Lt Col Alan Binney [sic]
WW2 Nominal Roll - William Walker Parker
WW2 Nominal Roll - James Alexander Chapman
WW2 Nominal Roll - Ronald Eardley Douch
WW2 Nominal Roll - Keith Gillan
WW2 Nominal Roll - Alan Binnie
CWGC - William Walker Parker
CWGC - James Alexander Chapman
CWGC - Ronald Eardley Douch
CWGC - Keith Gillan
CWGC - Alan Binnie
Thanks to John Douglas and Daniel Leahy for additional information
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May 5, 2021
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