Arthur Matthew AITKEN


AITKEN, Arthur Matthew

Service Number: 415570
Enlisted: 30 November 1941, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 14 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: Narrogin, Western Australia, 9 January 1920
Home Town: Armadale, Armadale, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Accountant
Died: Aircraft Accident, Western Australia, 9 September 1943, aged 23 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Armadale War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Busselton Beaufort A9-317 Memorial, Sydney Memorial (Sydney War Cemetery) Rookwood
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World War 2 Service

30 Nov 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 415570, Perth, Western Australia
9 Sep 1943: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 415570, No. 14 Squadron (RAAF), Empire Air Training Scheme

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Courtesy of J Dalgliesh


Beaufort A9-317 of 14 Squadron RAAF, took off from Busselton Airfield in south west Western Australia at 090357 Z hours (3:57pm) on 9 September 1943 to carry out Patrol "N" from Busselton to D'Entrecastreaux Point to 36º 00'S, 116º 40'E, to 34º 12'S, 113º 08'E, to 31º 57'S, 115º 08'E, to 31º 57'S, 115º 08'E, to 31º 58'S, 115º 40'E and then to Pearce.The Captain of the "Nordness" later advised officials that the Beaufort carried out a normal approach procedure on his ship and after identifying the ship it turned northwards and climbed and was last seen heading southwards, which would have put it back on the assigned Patrol "N" track. Under strict radio silence no further word was heard from Beaufort A9-317 and it was reported overdue at 2030hrs.

An extensive search was carried out on the evening of the 9th September 1943 and searches continued on the 10th, 11th and 13th September 1943. These searches covered the coast from Fremantle to Albany extending 20 miles to seaward with a more intensive search of the area up to 120 miles west of Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste, and south to Albany. In addition US Naval authorities instructed all seaward patrols in the area to keep a lookout for the aircraft.

The following personnel lost their lives in this tragic event:-

Flying Officer Arthur Mathew Aitken (415570), 14 Squadron RAAF - Pilot
Flying Officer Cedric Sutton Richards (256336), 14 Squadron RAAF - Navigator/Bomb Aimer
Flight Sergeant Alexander Emerson (408802), Air Force Headquarters - Wireless Air Gunner
Flight Sergeant Peter Douglas Hastie (415326), 14 Squadron RAAF - Wireless Air Gunner
Captain Harry Donald Kolbig (SX1574), 5 Australian Air Liaison Section