Warrant Officer Arthur William DOWNING

Service No: 403261
Born: Manly NSW, 27 March 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 January 1941
Unit: No. 55 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 55 Squadron Baltimore aircraft FA418), Italy, 18 October 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Cassino War Cemetery, Italy
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frank Hammersley Downing and Violet Hester Downing, of Balgowlah, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Manly NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Manly ANZAC War Memorial, Manly NSW

On 18 October 1943 Baltimore FA418 was detailed to attack Isernia, Italy. FA418 was flying in No. 3 position in a formation of 12 aircraft. As the formation dived on to the target, FA493 passed over the leading aircraft and struck No 3 with its main plane cutting off the tail unit of FA418. FA418 immediately went into a spin and exploded when it hit the ground. Three parachutes were seen to open as both aircraft went down. All the crew members of FA418 were killed

The crew members of FA418 were:

Flight Sergeant Arturo Beaumont (1380013) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Arthur William Downing (403261) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Gordon Henry Stevens (1250066) (RAFVR) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Warrant Officer Alfred Rowland Stratton (411056) (Pilot)

The crew member of FA493 killed was:

Sergeant Gordon William Priest (1431944) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9301, 403261
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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