Flight Sergeant Robert Alexander ASHTON

Service No: 436598
Born: Melbourne VIC, 28 February 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 27 February 1943 (at Melbourne VIC)
Unit: No. 138 Squadron (RAF), RAF Tempsford, Bedfordshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 138 Squadron Stirling aircraft LJ503), France, 1 September 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Arc-Et-Senans Communal Cemetery, Doubs, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Arthur and Laura Rosena Ashton, of Brighton, Victoria, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Brighton VIC
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

The DVA record shows Flight Sergeant Ashton enlisting from Victoria; however he has a WA Service Number (436XXX) and is listed on the WA Memorial.

Stirling LJ503 took off from RAF Tempsford at 2200 hours on the night of 30 August 1944, detailed to carry out a Special Operations Executive (SOE) Operation.  The aircraft set course for France, but encountered a violent electrical storm during which the aircraft clipped the tops of hills at Lombard (Doubs), a village approximately 8 kms north east of Arc-et-Senans. All eight on board the aircraft were killed in the crash.

The crew members of LJ503 were:

Sergeant John Campbell Alexander (1672382) (RAFVR) (Second Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Robert Alexander Ashton (436598) (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Norman Edward Barnes (424554) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Robert Blackburn Hardie (415649) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Stuart James Hayes (432172) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant George McPherson Jack (1822606) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Gordon Wesley McLeod (422658) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Morris Stanley (427160) (Navigator)


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, 166/4/105

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