Flying Officer Geoffrey William HASSELL

Service No: 437417
Born: Hyde Park SA, 24 December 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1943
Unit: No. 455 Squadron
Died: Air Operations (No. 455 Squadron Beaufighter aircraft NE207), off Hareid Island, 5 April 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick William and Minnie Rosina Maud Hassell, of Adelaide, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unley SA
Remembered: Panel 283, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 106, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

The RAAF Beaufighters began April with an abortive attack against Egersund on the 3rd but next day they scored two wet and two dry hits on a merchantman at Aardals Fiord. Sykes (1) was badly injured during this sortie and two Beaufighters were lost on 5th April near Hareid Island when the Dallachy Wing was attacked by fighters.

(1) Flight Lieutenant Stephen Joseph Sykes DSO DFC (422751) of No. 455 Squadron was discharged from the RAAF on 25 February 1946 and killed in an aircraft accident on 19 January 1957.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Over Europe 1944-1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1963 – Page 383

Beaufighter NE207 took off from RAF Dallachy, Moray, at 1345 hours on 5th April 1945 to carry out an anti shipping reconnaissance of Svinoy-Aalesund – Yttergene and Cutvaer- Bremanger. In addition to the No. 455 Squadron aircraft 10 Rock Beaufighters (No. 144 Squadron (RAF)) 7 Anti Flak and 2 outriders (No. 489 Squadron (RNZAF)), 12 Mustangs (No. 65 Squadron (RAF)) and 2 ASR Warwicks took part. Eight aircraft from the Squadron took part in the operation and two of these including NE207 failed to return. During the patrol 6 ME109s were sighted at 1625 hours flying a parallel course and same height 500/250 feet. Combat ensued. Two enemy aircraft attacked. Aircraft NT920 which was seen to pull up to starboard and climb collided with NE 207. The wing of one aircraft broke off and falling knocked off another Beaufighter last seen with port engine smoking. Both aircraft NT920 and NE207 failed to return.

The crew members of NE207 were:

Flying Officer Geoffrey William Hassell (437417) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Edward James Loonam (428725) (Navigator Wireless Operator)

The crew members of NT920 were:

Flight Sergeant Ronald Eric Bull (432108) (Navigator Wireless Operator)
Flight Lieutenant Keith Anthony Vaughton Moore (411167) (Pilot)


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/17/1124


Gordon, I. (Ian) Strike and Strike Again: 455 Squadron 1944-5, Banner Books Belconnen ACT 2616, 1995
Lawson, John Horwood Wightman (251634) The Story of No. 455 Squadron (RAAF), Wilke and Company, Melbourne VIC, 1951

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