BAMKIN Eric George 406387

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Lieutenant Eric George BAMKIN 

Service No: 406387
Born: North Fremantle WA, 8 February 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 December 1940
Unit: No. 454 Squadron, Gambut III, Cyrenaica, Libya
Died: Aircraft Accident: (No. 454 Squadron Baltimore aircraft AH171), Gambut III, 8 June 1943, Aged 22 years
Buried: Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles George and Doris Lillian Bamkin, of South Fremantle, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Maylands WA
Remembered: Panel 105, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

At 0415 hours on 8 June 1943, Baltimore AH171 took off from Gambut III for a sweep of the Aegean Sea.  The aircraft climbed to 1,000 feet and commenced a normal left hand circuit.  The aircraft then turned cross-wind and commenced a shallow dive which continued without check until the aircraft struck the ground, killing its four crew members.  The most probable cause of the accident was assessed as either the pilot’s survival dinghy inflating and pushing the control column forward or the elevator control in the navigator’s compartment jamming.

The crew members of AH171 were:

Flight Lieutenant Eric George Bamkin (406387) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant John Bentley Brocksopp (407489) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Charles Henry Broomhall (406137) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Colin James Randle (407275) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia A705, 163/23/129