Flight Sergeant Ernest John BATTLE

Service No: 413943
Born: Marrickville NSW, 7 November 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 10 October 1941
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire
Died: Air Operations (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft JA963), Germany, 17 December 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest James Battle and Alma Ellen Battle, of Rose Bay, New South Wales, Australia.
Roll of Honour: Manly NSW
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster JA963 took off from RAF Bourn at 1655 hours on the night of 16/17th December 1943 to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A Missing Research & Enquiry team later reported “the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed at approximately 2300 hours on the 16th December. It exploded in mid air and wreckage was spread over an area of Schiller Park, Berlin.” All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of JA963 were:

Flight Sergeant Ernest John Battle (413943) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant David James Brill (106881) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Robert Butler (139687) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Harry Chappell (1094495) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Rowland Ernest Handley DFM (137652) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Gordon James Little (J/25849) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Norman Gregory McIntyre (414154) (Navigator)
Sergeant John Stone (572912) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)


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, 166/5/379

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