Lewis Melvin (Lou) DUNHAM MID

DUNHAM, Lewis Melvin

Service Number: 406672
Enlisted: 3 March 1941
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
Born: York Western Australia , 29 March 1910
Home Town: Claremont, Western Australia
Schooling: Bunbury High School, Western Australia
Occupation: Bank Officer
Died: Accidental, Coral Sea, Pacific Islands, 28 February 1943, aged 32 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Port Moresby War Memorial Panel 9 Local Roll of Honour- Bunbury WA, Port Moresby Memorial, Port Moresby, Papua, Papua New Guinea
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bunbury War Memorial, Cairns Catalina A24-25 Memorial Plaque, Fremantle Commonwealth Bank of Australia West Australian Staff WW2 Honour Roll, Port Moresby (Bomana) Memorial
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Flying Officer, 406672
3 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 406672, No. 5 Initial Training School Pearce
3 Mar 1941: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 406672, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF)
9 Mar 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, 406672, No. 11 Squadron (RAAF), Air War SW Pacific 1941-45
13 Aug 1943: Honoured Mention in Dispatches, Air War SW Pacific 1941-45

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Biography contributed by Graham Padget

Flying Officer Lewis Melvin Dunham was the son of Walter and Olive Jean Dunham; husband of Helen Frances Dunham, of Claremont, Western Australia

The RAAF announced on 21 September 2015 that
wreckage found in waters south of Cairns is that of Catalina A24-25 that was lost in the Coral Sea on 28th February 1943.

This was Flying Officer Dunham's Catalina who was in the crew as the Navigator.

The air force will leave the aircraft where it lies as a mark of respect to the crew and hold a memorial service and place a commemorative plaque in Cairns early next year (2016).

Catalinas stationed at Cairns were used from late 1942 to fly long-range missions against Japanese shipping and submarines.

On February 28 1943, A24-25 had been on a 17-hour mission to provide anti-submarine cover to a convoy heading for Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea.

The crew made a radio call that the plane was making an emergency landing but there were no witnesses or sightings