Our Origins - the Family Histories of Craig Fullerton and Celine Amoyal
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James Bruce
(1848-1875)
Mary Jane Coxhead
(1842-1904)
Samuel Peter Wyche
(1872-1924)
Martha Mary Maude Bruce
(1876-1954)

Jack Raymond Wyche
(1917-ca. 1942)

 

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Jack Raymond Wyche

  • Born: 2 Feb 1917, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
  • Died: ca. 21 Jan 1942, Killed WW2, RAAF, nr Lae, Papua New Guinea aged about 24
picture

bullet  General Notes:

Jack was the 1st engineer of a Catalina flying boat that went missing near Lae, New Guinea. He was aged 24, Service No 12217 Corporal 11 Squadron RAAF. War Memorial Panel 100.

The following history has been kindly provided by Geoffry Hall:

Jack Wyche

Son of Samuel Peter and Martha Maud Mary Wyche, of Lidcombe, New South Wales.

Service Number: 12217
Rank: Corporal
Unit: No. 11 Squadron
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Conflict / Operation: Second World War, 1939-1945
Date of death: 21 January 1942 aged 24
Place of death: New Guinea
Cause of death: Died during battle near Lae off New Guinea coast in Missing Catalina flying boat.
Cemetery or memorial details: Lae Memorial, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
Source: AWM148 Roll of Honour cards, 1939-1945 War, Air Force

Catalina Serial number A24-9 call Sign VH-AFJ

Wartime History

Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). On October 4, 1941 assigned to 11 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
Model 28-5MA
18/08/41 Departed San Diego.
26/08/41 Arrived Rose Bay via Qantas delivery flight "J" under civilian call sign VH-AFJ.
28/08/41 Arrived Rathmines.
04/10/41 11 Squadron.
21/01/42 Shot Down and lost at sea.

Mission History

On January 21st 1942 at 7:35 Catalina VH-AFJ took off from Fairfax Harbor off Port Moresby to perform a reconnaissance flight up to Salamaua, New Guinea. Part of their mission was to deliver radio equipment to Salamaua. They flew down the coast to the east of Baniara, then to the north coast Northeast of Lae. They spotted about 13 Japanese fighters returning from a strike on Salamaua and tried to escape by climbing into the clouds at 7000ft they were sighted by the enemy and reported being attacked by a number of enemy aircraft. Shooting at one of the Zero's causing it to fall away but inturn where fatally hit and later reported as being on fire. As the PBY dove, and gunner Keen was thrown out, without his parachute attached but managed to get it attached in the air. When opened, the Zeros strafed him, while he pretended to be dead. The aircraft with the other crewmembers aboard crashed of the coast near Yambo Village east of Lae, NG. When lost, this Catalina becomes the first reconnaissance aircraft shot down in the island campaign in New Guinea.

After his escape, corporal Tom Keen [9351] (Rigger) made his way through the jungle to a village, the native people took him down to Hopoi to a German missionary, Mr. Lehner, who had witnessed the dogfight. Ten days later, he helped him to Nadzab, Wau and Post Moresby ten days later.

The following eight crew members were killed:
LT George Hutchinson [USN] (1st Pilot)
FO Tom Rowe [400293] (2nd Pilot)
SGT Doug Coote [407763] (Extra Crew - Wireless Operator)
CPL Jack Wyche [12217] (1st Engineer)
LAC Arthur Meadow [9034] (1st Wireless Operator)
LAC Alan Downes [16809] (2nd Wireless Operator)
LAC John Graigie [22050] (Armourer)
AC1 Kenneth Murphy [15165] (2nd Engineer)

Pilot History
The pilot, George "Hutch" Hutchinson was a United States Navy (USN) pilot who was serving with the US Embassy in Canberra, Australia. At the start of the Pacific War, he volunteered to fly with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He flew missions including searching for the HMAS Sydney and a bombing raid against Truk. He became the first American killed in action in the New Guinea theatre.
























RAAF 11 Squadron Former Assignments Qantas <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/pby/A24-9/pby-a24-9-artwork.html>Aerothentic.com <http://www.aerothentic.com/> 2008Pilot Lt. George Leland Hutchinson <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/pby/A24-9/hutchinson-1932.html> (KIA, BR) San Francisco, CA
Co-Pilot F/O Thomas N. Rowe, 400293 (KIA, BR) South Yarra, VIC
Engineer
A1c Kenneth L. Murphy, 15165 (KIA, BR) Five Dock, NSW
Radio LAC Arthur D. Meadow, 9034 (MIA / KIA) Solomontown, SA
Asst Radio LAC Allan Downes, 16809 (MIA / KIA) Dalglish, WA
Gunner Sgt Doug C. Coote, 407763 (KIA, BR) Port Elliot, SA
Port Waist Gunner
LAC Bruce E. Craigie, 22050 (MIA / KIA) Leura, NSW
Starbord Waist Gunner
Cpl Tom Keen <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/pby/A24-9/keen.html>, 9351 (survived) Townsville, QLD
Rear Gunner Cpl Jack R. Wyche, 12217 (MIA / KIA) Lidcombe, NSW
Crashed January 21, 1942 <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/date/1942/1-42.html>


Pilot History
The pilot, George "Hutch" Hutchinson was an United States Navy (USN) pilot who was serving with the US Embassy in Canberra, Australia. At the start of the Pacific War, he volunteered to fly with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He flew missions including searching for the HMAS Sydney <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/hmas/sydney.html> and a bombing raid against Truk <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/truk.html>. He became the first American killed in action in the New Guinea theater.
Aircraft History Built by Consolidated as a Model 28-5MA at San Diego <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/usa_ca_san_diego.html> during 1941. Constructors Number 259. Purchased by Qantas. On August 18, 1941 departed San Diego on a delivery flight to Australia arriving at Rose Bay Seaplane Base on August 26 and registered in Australian as VH-AFJ. On August 28, 1941 arrived at Rathmines Seaplane Base.
Wartime History
Assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). On October 4, 1941 assigned to 11 Squadron. No known nickname or nose art.
Mission History
On January 21, 1942 <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/date/1942/1-42.html> took off from Fairfax Harbor <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_fairfax.html> off Port Moresby <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_port_moresby.html> at 7:35am on a mission to deliver radio equipment to Salamaua <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_salamaua.html>. They flew down the coast to the east to Baniara, then to the north coast of New Guinea. They spotted about 13 Japanese fighters returning form a strike on Salamaua, and tried to escape by climbing into clouds at 7,000'. Sited, they were attacked shooting at one of the Zeros and causing it to fall away, but where fatally hit. The aircraft, with the dead crew members aboard crashed near Yambo <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_yambo.html>. When lost, this Catalina became the first reconnaissance aircraft shot down in New Guinea.
Sole Survior
As the PBY dove, and gunner Keen was thrown out, without his parachute attached but managaned to get it attached in the air. When opened, the Zeros straffed him, while he pretended to be dead. Keen made his way through the jungle to a village, and took him down to Hopoi <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_hopoi.html> to a German missionary, Mr. Lehner, who had witnessed the dogfight. Ten days later, he helped him to Nadzab <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_nadzab.html>, Wau <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_wau.html> and Post Moresby ten days later.

Wreckage
This aircraft crashed and burned near Yambo <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_yambo.html>. After the crash, Yambo villagers visited the crash site and recovered several bodies that were ejected during the crash. Also, they recovered items including tools and guns that had the wooden handles burned away during the fire.
During late 1943, Australian forces recovered the remains of the crew found at the crash site.
Memorials
The entire crew as officially declared dead the day of the mission. Four of the crew: Meadow, Wyche, Downes and Craigie remain Missing In Action (MIA) and are memorialized at Lae War Cemetery <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/cemetery/png-lae-war-cemetery.html> at panel 7.
After the recovery of remains, Hutchinson was buried at Golden Gate National Cemetery <http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/goldengate.asp> at section B, site 139. Three of the crew are buried at Lae War Cemetery <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/cemetery/png-lae-war-cemetery.html>. Murphy at D. D. 1, Rowe at D. D. 4 and Coote at D. D. 5.
References "The day a Cat's luck gave out" by Robert Piper ADF Serials - Catalina A24-9 <http://www.adf-serials.com.au/2a24.htm>
RAAFDB - Consolidated PBY Catalina A24-9 <http://www.raafdb.com/view_aircraft.asp?id=602>
CWGC - Arthur Drohen Meadow <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2801427/MEADOW,%20ARTHUR%20DROHEN>
CWGC - Kenneth Laurence Murphy <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2156332/MURPHY,%20KENNETH%20LAURENCE>
CWGC - Thomas Nicoll Rowe <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2156631/ROWE,%20THOMAS%20NICOLL>
CWGC - Allan Downes <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2801292/DOWNES,%20ALLAN>
CWGC - Dougla Charles Coote <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2167341/COOTE,%20DOUGLAS%20CHARLES>
CWGC - John Edward Bruce Craigie <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2801270/CRAIGIE,%20JOHN%20EDWARD%20BRUCE>

CWGC - Jack Raymond Wyche <http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2801537/WYCHE,%20JACK%20RAYMOND>FindAGrave - George Leland Hutchinson <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Hutchinson&GSfn=George&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=3590818&df=all&>
(grave photo)
FindAGrave - Flying Officer Thomas Nicoll Rowe <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Rowe&GSfn=Thomas&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23715842&df=all&>
FindAGrave - Aircraftman 1st Class Kenneth Laurence Murphy <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Murphy&GSfn=Kenneth&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23715543&df=all&>
FindAGrave - Corporal Jack Raymond Wyche <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Wyche&GSfn=Jack&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23716704&df=all&>
FindA Grave - Leading Aircraftman Arthur Drohen Meadow <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Meadow&GSfn=Arthur&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23716596&df=all&>
FindAGrave - Leading Aircraftman Allan A Downes <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Downes&GSfn=Allan&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23716463&df=all&>
FindAGrave - Sergeant Douglas Charles Coote <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Coote&GSfn=Doug&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1942&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=23714443&df=all&>

World War Two Nominal Roll - Thomas Henry Keen <http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=R&veteranId=861366>
Thanks to Greg Williams <http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=R&veteranId=861366>, Daniel Leahy <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/authors/leahy/index.html> and Robert Piper <http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/authors/piper/index.html> for additional information
ntbl


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