Flight Sergeant Richard Denison BEESTON

Service No: 403650
Born: Wellington NSW, 19 December 1908
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 150 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Snaith
Died: Air Operations (No. 150 Squadron Wellington aircraft X3795), English Channel, 26 July 1942, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Alfred Beeston, and of Grace Singleton Beeston, of Toronto, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Toronto NSW
Remembered: Panel 111, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Wellington X3795 took off from RAF Station Snaith at 2355 hours on 25 July 1942 as one of eleven to attack Duisberg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. The cloud cover was ten tenths. Moderate flak was encountered by the other planes and enemy night fighters were active. It was later established that Flight Sergeant Beeston was missing but that the remaining five crew men had been captured. It was later recorded that Flight Sergeant Beeston had lost his life at sea.

The crew members X3795 were:

Sergeant Jones Oliver Badcock (1377440) (RAFVR) (Observer) PoW
Flight Sergeant Richard Denison Beeston (403650) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Joseph Vincent Busuttin (404640) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 13 August 1946
Sergeant Owen Leigh Griggs (977257) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot) PoW
Flight Sergeant Darcy Murray Horselman (403339) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 24 October 1945
Sergeant James Miller Saunders (401453) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 12 December 1945

In a statement by Warrant Officer Basuttin he reported “the aircraft was at a height of 19,500 feet when hit by flak and the port motor was set on fire. The aircraft lost height and the Captain gave orders to the crew to take up crash stations before it crashed in the English Channel. Five of the crew escaped safely, but Flight Sergeant Beeston failed to get out before the aircraft sank.”


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, 163/91/249

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