Rank & Name: Sgt Keith John Lauder - (RAAF)
Date of Death: 02.03.1942

Sgt Lauder enlisted into the RAAF Reserves at the Sydney recruiting office on the 12th April 1940, he was about to turn 24 in May of that year. He attended Chatswood High School and obtained his certificate in 1932 passing all his subjects bar one, Maths I, (although he had passed Maths II).

(Photos courtesy of the Australian National Archives)

He then went on to study at the Metropolitan Business College, Sydney and in 1933 he started studies in Salesmanship (part-time) which he completed in 1936. He then went onto study Bookeeping also part-time. During his time studying Salesmanship he worked as a junior salesman and by the time he enlisted in 1940, he was working as a commercial traveller (travelling salesman).

Training begins:

On 16th Sept 1940, Sgt Lauder was reported back to No.2 Recruitment office in Sydney where he signed up for the RAAF Permanent Forces and was posted to No.2 ITS, Bradfield Park. On the 9th Nov 1940 he was posted to No.2 E.D and on the 10th of Dec, he left Australia for advanced training in South Africa. On 1st Jan 1941 he arrived in S.A and was posted to ITW in Bulawayo. On the 17th he was posted to No.26 EFTS at Guinea Fowl. On the 5th of Mar he was posted to No.21 SFTS Kumalo. 16th of June 1941 he was posted to War School George and on the 6th of Sept he left S.A for the U.K. 10th of Nov he arrived in the U.K and was posted to 3 PRC and on the 18th he was sent to No.2 OTU. On the 26th he was posted to RAF Silloth.

59 Squadron - training completed:

On the 18th Feb 1942 he was finally posted to 59 Squadron. This would be Sgt Lauders last posting. He had only been with 59 at RAF North Coates for just on two weeks when he went missing on the 2nd March. He was reported missing and persumed dead on the same day. At the time of his death 59 Squadron were flying deadly anti-shipping strikes along the Dutch coastline, the survival rate at this time was very low and many crews were lost.

His fellow crew members that day were all Australian and the aircraft was Hudson V AM796.

P/O DH Bain – (W.op/AG) RAAF
Sgt KJ Lauder – (pilot) RAAF
Sgt DR Rutherford - (Observer) RAAF
Sgt WJ Jones - (W.op/AG) RAAF

Further Information

Sgt Keith John Lauder:

- is remembered on the Australian Nominal Roll

- is honoured on the CWGC Debt of Honour Roll

- is honoured at RAF North Coates

- images sourced from the Australian National Archives.


Rest In Peace