Donald Atherton IRVING

IRVING, Donald Atherton

Service Number: 402359
Enlisted: 19 August 1940
Last Rank: Acting Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 77 Squadron (RAF)
Born: BRISBANE, QLD, 10 January 1916
Home Town: Innisfail, Cassowary Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Industrial Chemist
Died: Flying Battle, Germany, 27 February 1942, aged 26 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, International Bomber Command Centre Memorial, Runnymede Air Forces Memorial
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World War 2 Service

19 Aug 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 402359, No. 2 Initial Training School Bradfield Park
19 Sep 1940: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 402359, Elementary Flying Training School, Empire Air Training Scheme
27 Nov 1940: Embarked Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 402359, RAAF Personnel / Embarkation / Holding Units
23 Dec 1940: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 402359, Royal Canadian Air Force Training Units, Empire Air Training Scheme, No. 3 Service Flying Training School Calgary, Canada
25 Apr 1941: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Pilot Officer, 402359, Operational Training Units (RAF), Empire Air Training Scheme
27 Feb 1942: Involvement Royal Australian Air Force, Acting Flight Lieutenant, 402359, No. 77 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Donald Irving (1916 -1942)

Flight Lieutenant Donald Irving was the son of Ernest and Dorothy Irving of Innisfail, Queensland, he was born in Brisbane and worked as a Sugar Chemist for the CSR Company before enlisting in August 1940.

Posted to 2 ITS then onto 6EFTS 19 September Donald left from Sydney for Canada 27 November 1940 for service overseas arriving Vancouver 23 December 1940 where he received his wings at No 3 SFTS, Calgary 10 April He had received his Pilot Officer s Commission on 9 April.

Then it was onto the United Kingdom arriving on 25 April 1941, he joined 77 Squadron on 28 July and was appointed Flight Lieutenant 25 January 1942. While serving with the in the United Kingdom he took part in eighteen operational flights over Europe. Flight Lieutenant Irving and crew took off from Station Leeming in Yorkshire and following an operation against German cruisers at Wilhelmshaven on the night of 27 February 1942 they were reported missing. An investigation by the Air Ministry found that the aircraft Whitley Z6943, piloted by Irving was reported to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire near Wilhelmshaven. No trace of the aircraft or crew were found.

CREW: Flight Lieutenant D A Irving - Pilot Sergeant H W Blackmore - Pilot Sergeant J L S Price - Observer Sergeant D Unsworth - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Sergeant P W L Strachan - Air Gunner In 1948 it was reported that after extensive searches and interrogation of German authorities in the area of Wilhemshaven to Emden no trace of wreckage or crew could be found. The crew were recorded as lost at sea. Donald is remembered with honour at the Australian War Memorial and the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede.