Flight Sergeant Norman BARKER

Service No: 403708
Born: Sydney NSW, 9 August 1917
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941
Unit: No. 22 Personnel Transit Centre (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (Blenheim aircraft Z7631), Egypt, 24 March 1943, Aged 25 Years
Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert and Daisy Barker, of Bellevue Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Woollahra NSW
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 24 March 1943, Blenheim Z7631 failed to return from a raid on Sollum.

The crew members of Z7631 were:

Flight Sergeant Norman Barker (403708) (Pilot)
Sergeant George Frederick Rawson (655971) (RAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant Frederick George Last (1202333) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Corporal Jetson of the Military Police reported that: “At Sollum on the 24 March 1943, I was the visiting NCO and Motor Cycle Patrol on Sollum Pass. At about 1140 hours, I was at Sollum Bottom where I noticed a plane flying low in the direction of Capuzzo. The engine was making a spluttering sound and the plane was gradually coming lower and disappeared over the top of Sollum. While on the way to Sollum Top, I noticed clouds of black smoke about two miles away in the direction of Capuzzo. At about 1210 hours Sergeant Tulman and I proceeded to the spot in a jeep and fount the Blenheim enveloped in flames.”

A Court of Inquiry in to the accident stated that in its opinion: “the accident was due to a possible failure of one engine. It appears that the Pilot stalled the aircraft at a low altitude when attempting to overfly the escarpment and land on the Sollum landing ground.”

The casualty signal shows all members belonging to No. 22 Personnel Transit Centre. This was a non-flying unit and the unit that operated the Blenheim aircraft is not given in that signal.


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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/91

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