WW2 Australian casualties - RAAF / RAF etc etc

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by DaveB, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Motor Vehicle accident - 3 Wireless School Winnipeg - killed: Leading Aircraftman Alexander Edward ROBERTS RAAF 401591 & Corporal James FORTNER RCAF R/63832 & civilian James Kirkpatrick of Winnipeg.

    Two other RAAF members were injured: LAC Sides 403842 (discharged March 1942) & LAC Glenton-Wright 404913 (KIA 31May42 with 23OTU over Holland) (extra information from Montreal newspaper)

    (7-Apr-41 - Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada)
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Motor Vehicle Accident - 7 Communications Unit (cause of death from Unit History CD) - killed: Pilot Officer GILLIGAN, Rodnam Charles RAAF 21331

    Also involved were Flight Lieutenant KNIGHT, Stephen Henry 284310 RAAF / Miss Thelma May McCALL (Civilian) / Miss Norma Ruth DUNCUFF (Civilian).

    Miss Duncuff died from injuries sustained in the accident

    (14-Jan-45 - Narrogin, WA)

    Attached Files:

  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Collision between a civilian passenger bus and a service vehicle (American army service tender 4133333) between Ipswich and Amberley on Three Mile Bridge.

    The driver of the bus was killed instantly (Mr Ernest Charles Jowett - not on CWGC). Many RAAF members were on board plus five allied troops. The driver of the American vehicle (Private Johnnie Purdue of 1954 Quartermaster Company, Camp Columbia, Wacol QLD) was taken into police custody (see attached newspaper extracts).

    RAAF personnel killed were: HARVEY, Jack Hyland (LAC) 25761 / SQUELCH, Ronald Bruce (LAC) 25242 - both buried in Ipswich General Cemetery.

    Other RAAF personnel on bus (injured - all survived the war): THOMPSON, B E (Aircraftwoman) 101132 / LITTLE, M I (Aircraftwoman) 100068 / BRIMBLECOMBE, E (Aircraftwoman) 100293 / CANNARD, L (Aircraftwoman) 94101 / LUBCKE, G L (Leading Aircraftman) 28809 / ANDERSON, J W (Corporal) 25441 / OBERFUCHSHUBER, O J (Leading Aircraftman) 34871 / DYASON, C B (Sergeant) 6330 / McBRIDE, G W (Leading Aircraftman) 78515 / GORDON, J D (Aircraftman 1) 79772 / CHANDLER, R H (Aircraftman 1) 123632 / BURNS, D J (Aircraftwoman) 100258

    (26-Aug-43 - Three Mile Bridge, Ipswich, QLD)

    Attached Files:

  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Motor Vehicle Accident (details from NLA newspaper - two men, one a member of the RAAF, have died from injuries received when a jeep skidded and overturned on the Richmond Road on Tuesday night). The civilian who died in Windsor Hospital was James Stanley Smallwood 37, of Wiseman's Ferry Road, Marrita - eight other men were injured. One of them, a member of the R.A.A.F., is in a critical condition in an Air Force hospital (from details known this is probably SMITH 126385 - discharged Nov 1945).

    Killed - Leading Aircraftman ABERCROMBIE, Peter Fleming 72179 RAAF (two m's in middle name?? - AWM has single & CWGC / nominal roll have double)

    165 Radar Station Bargo - RAAF Jeep 212432 overturned at Pitt Town Road on 2/1/45 (further details of incident obtained from NAA file headers). The driver was Flight Sergeant ASHTON, Byron Robert Edwin 60206, who was tried by Court Martial on 1 March 1945.

    All other passengers survived - SMITH, Gordon Lindsay (LAC) 126385 / BOULTON, George Somerford (Corporal) 13223 / COX, Garnet Douglas (Corporal) 37325 / DAVIDSON, Ronald Charles (AC) 143783

    (3-Jan-45 - Richmond Road, Pitt Town, NSW)

    Attached Files:

  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    I seem to have a few gaps regarding this incident - mainly the names of the other people involved

    4 AOS RCAF London, Ontario - Sgt Wood died of his injuries following a car crash on the night of 4th September between an automobile driven by him and a truck. The collision occurred between Chatham, Ontario and Tilbury, Ontario, Canada.

    Sergeant WOOD, Rupert Richard 411570 RAAF was a Wireless Operator Instructor following his graduation as a Wireless Air Gunner. He was on 48 hours leave and the car contained 2 civilians and 2 other Air force personnel who were stationed at St Thomas Ontario.

    One civilian was killed and the other badly injured. Both the other airmen survived the crash. (extra info from AWM pdf)

    (6-Sep-42 - Chatham, Canada)
  6. spidge


    Beyer is listed on the Ottawa Memorial.
  7. spidge


    Wood buried London Mt Pleasant Cemetery Ontario.
  8. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    The next cases are civilians who were killed by RAAF aircraft during the war - either struck on the ground by an aircraft or in the aircraft when it crashed.


    Two Killed and Two Injured

    Two civilians were killed and two policemen injured when an R.A.A.F. plane crashed into them as it was making a forced landing four miles from Benalla today.

    The victims were:

    Killed: George Forshaw (60), of Violet Town & Russell Fleming (31), of Benalla.

    Injured: Constables Leslie Hurley and William Roberts, both of Benalla.

    The four men had arrived at Mr. Armstrong's property about 10.30 a.m. to help fight a bush fire. They were about six chains from the fire when they noticed a plane flying low at close range. It crashed into the midst of the men, two being killed instantly.

    Hearing the crash and not seeing the men lying on the ground, Mr. T. Fleming, father of one of the dead men, rushed to the plane. He found a flying instructor, who had been making a practice flight, and a mechanic injured.

    He then went to the four men, finding his son one of those killed. The undercarriage of the plane, which was a Tiger Moth, was damaged. Constable Roberts was admitted to hospital with a fractured skull, but Constable Hurley, who was admitted for treatment, was later able to go home.

    There are 3 files held by the NAA concerning this incident, none of which have been digitised:

    Report on accident to Tiger Moth A17/129 at Benalla on 11/12/1941

    Court of Inquiry into accident to Tiger Moth A17/129 at Toomalibee Park near Benalla on 11/12/1941

    Accident to A17-129 at No 11EFTS - Police brief for inquest into death of civilians

    [SIZE=11pt]Update from Chris Harley - This one should be OK as it involves a military aircraft. Probably going to need those accident reports[/SIZE]

    Attached Files:

  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member


    Two Killed in Test Flight

    Two employees of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation were killed and an RAAF officer was injured when a service aircraft crashed near Kilmore on Friday while on a test flight.

    Those killed were James Ogilvie Carter, of St Kilda, and Lionel Adrian Dudgeon, married, of Elwood.

    Flight Lieutenant James Herbert Harper (26), single, of Toorak, who is an RAAF test pilot; baled out and suffered minor injuries. Carter left his parachute jump until too late and was killed on impact with the ground. Dudgeon was in the machine when it crashed.

    [SIZE=11pt]Update from Chris Harley - This one will be regarded as a industrial accident as the aircraft was on a pre delivery flight.[/SIZE]




    James Herbert Harper AFC service number 251382 enlisted in June 1938 and was discharged from the RAAF in April 1946 with the rank of Wing Commander - he must have joined the reserve as he has a post-1950 service number of O35929

    NAA casualty file - HARPER, James Herbert - (Flight Lieutenant); Service Number - 1382; File type - Casualty - Repatriation; Aircraft - CA4 A23-1001; Place - Kilmore, Victoria; Date - 15 January 1943 (digitised)

    Attached Files:

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  10. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member


    A test pilot and the supply manager for de Havilland Aircraft company were killed when a plane broke up during a test flight near Sydney on Saturday.

    The test pilot was Hubert Boss-Walker. The other victim, Peter Fabian Rockingham, was a passenger in the plane.

    Police were told that soon after the plane took off both engines became detached. The wings and a portion of the fuselage fell on to a traffic bridge.

    The bodies of the men were found in the cabin some distance from other wreckage strewn in the bush. There were indications, according to the police, that the pilot and Rockingham had been mutilated by wreckage before they struck the ground. Police are assisting Air Force officials to ascertain the cause of the plane breaking up.



    On 10 June 1944, RAAF Mosquito A52-12 (FB.40) crashed when both engines detached and the airframe broke up shortly after taking off from Bankstown airfield in New South Wales. This flight was part of a pre-delivery acceptance test. The two crew members were killed as follows:-

    Flight Lieutenant Hubert Boss-Walker (test pilot) & Peter Rockingham

    The investigation found "faulty fitting in the wing box spar" as the cause of the accident. All Mosquitoes were grounded in July 1944 following the findings of the accident investigation. 18 faulty wings were found as a result of a review.

    Boss-Walker was a Duntroon graduate. Rockingham was a fairly senior executive with Hawker de Havilland.

    [SIZE=11pt]Update from Chris Harley - This one will be regarded as a industrial accident as the aircraft was on a pre delivery flight.[/SIZE]

    (Boss-Walker had an interesting war, culminating in being discharged from the RAAF in 1942 due to "Nazi influences", he was interred and investigated. Eventually released he went to work for CAC and was killed in this incident)

    Attached Files:

  11. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member


    Joseph Michael Walsh (31) was killed and Edward Jensen of West Bundaberg received severe head injuries when a plane ran into a gang of men at Amberley aerodrome this morning. The men, members of a Main Roads Commission gang working on the runway, were having morning tea at the time a loaded plane - a fighter-bomber - was taking off from the southern end of the runway. It swerved suddenly, and ran into the men. All escaped except Walsh and Jensen.

    [SIZE=11pt]Update from Chris Harley - This one should be OK. However the problem with these is going to be the level of documentation. CWGC will not accept newspapers as proof of death. [/SIZE]

    (I forgot to mention that I first knew of this incident after I photographed all of the plaques in the memorial garden just outside the old entrance to RAAF Amberley, that area is now well within the base confines due to a realignment of the fence line - photo of plaque attached)

    [SIZE=11pt]I now have copies of the aircraft accident cards naming the deceased plus he is referred to in a RAAF Unit History. I also have photos of his grave in the Ipswich General cemetery.[/SIZE]


    Attached Files:

  12. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    This incident involves a young civilian who died at a RAAF unit during the war -

    Boy of 14 Killed by Revolver Shot

    SYDNEY, Sunday - Ronald Warren Stewart, 14, of William Street, Bankstown, was killed instantly at a defence area this afternoon when, it is alleged, he removed a revolver from the holster on the guard's belt, placed the muzzle to his right temple and pulled the trigger.

    Stewart and another boy were in the habit of visiting the camp, being friends of the guard. It appears that the boys were under the impression the revolver was not loaded.

    Sergeant McLeod, of the Bankstown police, is handling the matter.

    [SIZE=11pt]Update from Chris Harley - This one will not go forward as the teenager shot himself.[/SIZE]

    Attached Files:

  13. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    PFLAUM, John Elliott (Flight Sergeant) RAAF 442529

    Kittyhawk A29-1006

    Zamboanga, Phillipines


    (1945 Newspaper article) FSGT J. E. Pflaum, of Loxton (SA), was killed after taking off from the Zamboanga airstrip, when his aircraft crashed into a Fillipino house. Six or seven natives in the house were also killed.

    FSGT Pflaum was on the strength of 3 Reserve Personnel Pool Morotai at the time of his death (Aircraft was on the unit strength of 11RSU (Repair & Salvage Unit) & the DVA nominal roll shows him as a member of 2 Operational Training Unit Mildura – this must have been his posted unit).

    Besides his personnel and casualty files (neither digitised as yet) the NAA also holds the files "Crash of RAAF aircraft A29-1006 at Samboanga [Zamboanga], Philippine Islands on 15.11.45. Claims by Augustin and Martin BANIS and Apolinario BARJOSE." (digitised) & "Kittyhawk A29-1006 - Court of Inquiry re accident at Zamboanga on 15.11.1945" (I have requested that this be digitised and hopefully it contains the names of all of the fatalities).
  14. spidge


    Hi Dave,

    There does not seem to be other Commonwealth burials listed with F/S Pflaum as at Labuan on that day so his file details will hopefully shed some light.

    Sadly, I note that there were still 767 Commonwealth deaths listed for that day, 3 months after the war had ended.

    F/S Pflaum is buried in plot C.B.1 at Labuan War Cemetery in Malaysia, while coincidentally, the plot for LAC Bridge from the Dakota aircraft below at Rabaul Bita Paka Cemetery has the same number, with Nurse Sheah in C.B. 2.

    Another accident that day when 28 were killed on a Dakota DC-3.

    Among the dead was Sister Verdun Bernice Sheah RAAFNS. They are all buried at Rabaul Pita Paka Cemetery although you probably have these details. There's was the fourth Dakota to crash in as many months with another nurse Sister Marie Craig. Her plane was discovered in 1975, high on a West Irian peak, by an American missionary in a helicopter. A recent recovery of those on board was carried out by a combined RAAF and Indonesian team.

    As to the other two RAAF Dakota aircraft that disappeared in 1945, KN-344 was found on a mountain top near Milne Bay in 1946. The remains of the crew of three, which included the RAF radio operator, were recovered.

    However, VH-CIJ, the transport’s crew and passengers, as well as the 2000 pound payroll on board, are still missing somewhere in the Milne Bay waters or nearby mountains of New Guinea.

    Edit: Spelling
  15. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    NAA files:

    "Crash of RAAF aircraft A29-1006 at Samboanga [Zamboanga], Philippine Islands on 15.11.45. Claims by Augustin and Martin BANIS and Apolinario BARJOSE." (digitised)

    "Kittyhawk A29-1006 - Court of Inquiry re accident at Zamboanga on 15.11.1945" (I have requested that this be digitised and hopefully it contains the names of all of the fatalities)

    I have now received the digitised version of the Court of Inquiry file - 90% of it is taken up with copies of the paperwork which is in the Claims by BANIS and BARJOSE file.

    I have attached a few pages which actually identify the casualties plus some circumstances of the crash.

    Update from Chris Harley - the Filipino civilians won't be covered by the CWGC as they weren't Commonwealth citizens.

    Attached Files:

  16. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Just a quick link to the work of an Aussie researcher regarding WW2 RAAF POWs in Stalag III


    Incredibly, despite Stalag Luft III’s notoriety, there is no nominal roll of Australians who were imprisoned there. (If there is, I haven’t found it so please enlighten me.) One of my research tasks, then, is to compile a nominal roll of all Australians who were incarcerated in Stalag Luft III between April 1942, when the camp opened, and January 1945 when the camp was evacuated.

    I am under no illusion (or delusion!) that it this roll is perfect. There are gaps (and probably umpteen typos which I will clear up in due course) and, as such, I am seeking feedback.
  17. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

  18. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

    Regarding gaps in civilian casualties and Lockheed Hudson N7253 of 24SQN above.
    Any death in England, Wales and Scotland will be registered by the General Register Office (GRO) and thus will be on the freely available indexes for England and Wales via freebmd.org.uk and the actual register can be accessed on Scotlandspeople.gov.uk for a fee.

    Thus, going to freebmd.org.uk, simply enter the surname Coatman for 1942, and knowing the crash was in July, you can have some confidence the death was registered in the third quarter, Jul-Sep.
    And with that search you just get one person named Coatman,

    Sep 1942 (>99%)
    Surname First name(s) Age District Vol Page
    Coatman Charles A 38 Ruthin 11b 311

    The clue that this is correct is that the registration district is Ruthin, you will see that CWGC record the reporting authority as Ruthin.

    A notable exception to the above is that American war dead who were lets say killed in the UK, there must have been an agreement that there deaths would not feature on the local authority registers, the same for German casualties, but I've never really looked up the latter.

    In the above case, if you search only for pages 309 thru 312 of the Ruthin register, you will see the names of the other people on board the aircraft.
  19. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

  20. dp_burke

    dp_burke Junior Member

    And from taht source, the ORB shows it was not a 'civilian' Anson, but a service machine, flown by a civilian contractor pilot.

    Anson 6831

    Newspapers available online (fee based) give the civilian pilots name as Cyril B Rutherford, a civilian pilot attached to Dominon Skyways Training Ltd, next of kin his mother, Mrs Hannah May Rutherford.

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