AUSTERBERRY Francis Frederick 415958

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Francis Frederick AUSTERBERRY

Service No: 415958
Born: Victoria Park WA, 21 September 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 26 April 1942
Unit: No. 90 Squadron (RAF), RAF Tuddenham, Suffolk
Died: Air Operations: (No. 90 Squadron Lancaster aircraft HK602), Netherlands, 28 October 1944, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Frederick and Francis Mary Austerberry; husband of Jean Eileen Austerberry, of Rugby, Warwickshire, England.
Roll of Honour: Fremantle WA
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Lancaster HK602 took off from RAF Tuddenham at 0818 hours on 28 October 1944, detailed to bomb gun positions near Vlissingen, Holland.  Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.  The aircraft was shot down by flak while in the target area and all the crew were killed.  Four parachutes were seen to leave the aircraft and open.  Two fell in the water and two on land which was being straddled by bursting bombs.  The aircraft crashed into the water. The body of Flight Sergeant Austerberry was recovered near Flushing, Holland.  The other members of the crew have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey.

The crew members of HK602 were:

Flight Sergeant Francis Frederick Austerberry (415958) (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant Lawrence Gordon Calman (422364) (RNZAF) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Bernard Coward (1622516) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Alfred William Denby (958053) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Donald George Headland (1819907) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Robert Josephus Constable Higgins (150335) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant David Alexander Robertson Walker (1825419) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)

References:

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, 166/4/165