LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Colin Bruce BERGER

Service No: 408619
Born: Leongatha VIC, 22 April 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1941
Unit: No. 7 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 7 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft HX430), Limavady, 31 January 1943, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Drumachose (Christ Church) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Limavady, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eugene Wallace Berger and Grace Gertrude Plaskitt Berger, of Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Prahran VIC
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 31 January 1943, Wellington HX430 took off on a non-operational night training flight and crashed at 2115 hours at Limavady, County Derry, and all the crew members were killed. It appeared that the Pilot lost control of the aircraft at a height of 100 feet, when the aircraft was on its final approach to land at night. The aircraft rose, stalled, dropping one wing and dived into the ground.

The crew members of HX430 were:

Sergeant Colin Bruce Berger (408619) (Observer)
Sergeant Joseph Clark (1031745) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest Greenwood (1030029) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Edward Highfield (1029036) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer William Weston Milsom (130249) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Bernard Edwin Samuels (R/117592) (RCAF) (Pilot)

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, 166/5/32

Bibliography:

Winter, V.A. (Vincent Adams) (408547) Noble Six Hundred: the story of the Empire Air Training Scheme with special reference to Australians who trained in Southern Rhodesia, V.A. Winter Brighton VIC 3186, 1982