Alexander Douglas Finlayson Alexander Douglas Finlayson

Graveyard / Begraafplaats: Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery
Location / Locatie: EE grave 108

Militairy Service / Krijgsdienst: Royal Australian Air Force
Rang: Warrant Officer
Regiment: 199 Sqdn.
Number / Nummer: 408569

Rewards / Onderscheidingen: Distinguished Flying Medal

Age / Leeftijd: 29
Date of death / Overlijdensdatum: 31/08/1943
Place of death / Overlijdensplaats: Nederweert-Eind

Only son of Alexander Duncan and Euphemia Nicholson Finlayson from Yerong Creek; New South Wales; Australia.
Educated at Yerong Public School, Wagga High School and the Caulfield Grammar School.
W/O Finlayson was working on his fathers property before enlisting in the R.A.A.F. in March 1941.
He was the rear-gunner of a Stirling bomber, which had taken part in numerous raids over enemy territory.

Flt Sgt Gee and Finlayson crewed up together in the summer of 1942 when they were at an operational training unit, and in October 1942, started operating with an RAF Wellington Squadron. Both airmen were lost on operations over Europe in August, 1943 while flying with 199 Squadron.

On August 31, 1943 at 03:56 crashed near Schoorhoven in Nederweert-Eind (Limburg). This was originally a forest, now an open field. At the crash exploded many phosphorus bombs which leads us to suspect that they were still on the journey to Germany.
Departed from Lakenheath airfield at 00:40 for an attack on Monchengladbach and Rheydt.
Total volume of this attack were: 660 aircraft, 297 Lancasters, 185 Halifaxes, 107 Stirling, 57 Wellingtons and 14 Mosquitos.
A total of 25 aircraft were lost during this attack, 8 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters, 6 Stirlings and 4 Wellingtons.
During the attack on Monchengladbach were 1059 buildings completely destroyed (171 industrial, 19 military and 869 houses). 117 people were killed in Monchengladbach.
During the attack on Rheydt 1280 buildings were completely destroyed, also a lot of damage was done to the track and the train station. 253 people died in Rheydt killed. During both attacks a total of 1252 people were injured.

The plane, a Short Stirling III, airborne was shot by NF Ofw. Bruno Eikmeyer the 2./NJG 1.

All 8 crew members died in the crash.

Alexander Douglas Finlayson gained an immediate DFM, on 4 June 43, for destroying a nightfighter during an operation to Dortmund in May 1943.

Photo newspaper source Dorothy Ramser

Related / Gerelateerde
Athol Asher Harlem - Flight Sergeant
John Thomas Smith - Sergeant
Frank Ernest Gee - Flight Sergeant
William Bailes Julian - Flight Sergeant
Ian Nichol Mclaren - Flight Sergeant
Harry Eli Elphick - Sergeant
Royston Hazeldine George Ellis - Sergeant

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