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Marc Montocchio 2001
|1st Pilot Squadron Leader Thomas Henry Davies, 163 (KIA, BR) Waverley, NSW
2nd Pilot Pilot Officer Russel Gentworth Hender, 406105 (MIA / KIA) North Perth, WA
1st Engineer Cpl Harry Wilmot Hornby, 7118 (MIA / KIA) Merredin, WA
2nd Engineer LAC Lesile Hoare, 20549 (MIA / KIA) Strathfield, NS W
1st Wireless LAC Frederick Henry Anthony, 11085 (MIA / KIA) West Brunswick, VIC
2nd Wireless LAC Brian Charles James Wilcox, 8137 (MIA / KIA) Exeter, SA
Armorer LAC John Henry Marks, 33898 (KIA, BR) Fassifern, NSW
Rigger LAC Charles Ogilvie, 32081 (MIA / KIA) Edgecliff, NSW
Crashed January 15, 1942
Built by Consolidated. Constructors Number 279. U.S. Navy Bureau Number 08436 (unconfirmed). On September 9, 1941 delivered to Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) and registered in Australia as VH-AFL.
On October 26, 1941 assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to 11 Squadron with tail code J. No known nose art or nickname.
On January 15, 1942 took off from Simpson Harbor at Rabaul piloted by Squadron Leader Thomas Henry Davies and landed at Kavieng Harbor off Kavieng to refuel before a bombing mission against the Japanese at Truk Lagoon. After refueling near Nusu Island, this Catalina took off with Catlaina A24-13. During taking off, the wing bombs on this Catlina exploded when hit by a swell. The explosion killed the entire crew and causing the flying boat to immediately sink in deep water killing the entire crew. Afterwards, pilot Davies was mentioned in dispatches.
Above, Catalina A24-13 piloted by Lt. Hutchinson, a pilot on loan from the U.S. Navy, witnessed the accident and immediately landed nearby and attempted to rescue any survivors. However, the aircraft sank in deep water and no survivors were found.
The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the mission. Buried at Bita Paka War Cemetery (Rabaul) are Davies at B. C. 8 and Marks B. C. 9 (date of death listed as January 15, 1942).
The other crew were listed as missing. Memorialized on the Rabaul memorial at Bita Paka War Cemetery (Rabaul) are Hender on panel 34. Hornby, Wilcox and Hoare on panel 36. Memorialized on the Lae memorial at Lae War Cemetery is Anthony on panel 7.
During 2000, the wreckage of this aircraft was rediscovered by Rod Pearce. The engines and pieces of aircraft remain on the bottom in situ.
ADF Serials - Catalina A24-11
CWGC - Thomas Henry Davies
CWGC - Russell Glentworth Hender
CWGC - Henry Wilmot Hornby
CWGC - Leslie Thomas Hoare
CWGC - Frederick Henry Anthony
CWGC - Brian Charles James Wilcox
CWGC - John Henry Marks
CWGC - Charles Ogilvie
Thanks to Rod Pearce and Daniel Leahy for additional information
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March 3, 2021
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