LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Cecil Francis BEITZ

Service No: 6951
Born: Pittsworth QLD, 23 January 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 January 1940 (at RAAF Station Richmond NSW)
Unit: No. 608 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 608 Squadron Hudson aircraft FE535), Algeria, 26 June 1943, Aged 29 Years
Buried: El Alai Cemetery, Algeria
CWGC Additional Information: Son of August John and Mary Elfreda Beitz; husband of Velma Mary Beitz
Roll of Honour: Brisbane QLD
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 26 June 1943, Hudson FE535 was detailed to carry out a non-operational day training flight. The aircraft crashed at 1430 hours at La Chiffa, five miles west of Blida, Algeria, and all the crew members were killed. The only undisputed evidence into the accident is that an engine (or engines) was heard to splutter when the aircraft was at 3,000 feet and five miles from the aerodrome. It then descended in a spin to 200 feet from the ground, when the pilot pulled out but immediately after the wing dropped and the aircraft flew into the ground at a steep angle.

The crew members of FE535 were:

Flight Sergeant Cecil Francis Beitz (6951) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Alexander Kennedy Dettman (412409) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Alan Drysdale (J/11030) (RCAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Harold Gulbraa (J/112294) (RCAF) (Observer)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/210