Flight Sergeant Richard James ANDREWS

Service No: 424003
Born: Cessnock NSW, 20 July 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 20 July 1942
Unit: No. 94 Squadron (RAF), Hassani, Greece
Died: Air Operations (No. 94 Squadron Spitfire aircraft ER663), Greece, 5 January 1945, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Hedger Andrews and Delia Terese Andrews, of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Newcastle NSW
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Commonwealth Bank of Australia World War II Rolls of Honour, Sydney NSW

On 5 January 1945 Spitfire ER663 was involved in a large scale strafing operation of ELAS transport ordinance north of Athens, Greece. As Flight Sergeant Andrews had only been in the unit for 5 days and had 6 hours flying practice strafing and local reconnaissance, the CO decided to accompany Andrews to give him any further instructions and assess his ability.

His report is as follows: “the aircraft took off at 1100 hours from Hassani aerodrome and searched the area given sighting several transports already destroyed and abandoned, and dummy attacks were carried out on these. Andrews’s attacks were good and we proceeded further. At 1120 hours we sighted 3 transports north of Elevais. I instructed Andrews to orbit and watch while I carried out 2 attacks. I reserved for Andrews one of the vehicles which was on the open road with unobstructed lines of approach and breakaway. When I had finished I instructed Andrews to carry out his attack on this vehicle while I orbited above. He commenced his dive, opened fire at about 400 yards, missed his target and pushed his attack too close obviously correcting his aim by his strikes. I called him to pull away but before the message was completed he had pulled out very low down. The aircraft appeared to ‘mush’ hit the ground and disintegrated. It is possible that the aircraft may have been hit by flak, although no flak had been sighted in the area. He had been properly instructed to give short bursts at the correct range and pull out at least 200 feet above the target. About 1500 hours that day an Auster aircraft was sent out and his body was observed on the ground and a few ELAS troops were there.”


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, 166/3/352
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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