Flying Officer Robert Ernest BERKLEY

Service No: 401410
Born: Melbourne VIC, 18 October 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 38 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 38 Squadron Wellington aircraft MP679), off the Libyan Coast, 6 January 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John Thomas Berkley and Gertrude Myra Berkley, of Elwood, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Column 281, Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Remembered: Panel 118, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 6 January 1944 Wellington MP679 when carrying out an anti-submarine patrol at night for convoy ‘Parcel’ was last heard of approximately 100 miles north of Benghazi. During the patrol MP 679 was joined by another aircraft on a similar patrol. It is considered that a collision may have occurred between MP679 and No. 38 Squadron Wellington HZ 727, and that the aircraft fell into the sea on fire. Fire and smoke were observed in position 32.56N 019.50E.

The crew members of MP679 were:

Flying Officer Robert Ernest Berkley (401410) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer William Howard Bowen (400775) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Jack Alexander Cleary (401301) (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Lloyd George Dalgleish (J/18635) (RCAF) (Second Pilot)
Flying Officer Kenneth Robert Munro (J/14014) (RCAF) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Morris George Turner (142847) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

The crew members of HZ727 were:

Flight Sergeant Harold Cherns (13892230 (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Ivan Coles (1436513) (RAFVR)
Sergeant John Harris (1313481) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Robert Howard Head (J/17011) (RCAF)
Flight Sergeant Ronald Frederick Ledger (1330314) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Kenneth Robert Munro (J/14014) (RCAF)


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, 166/5/399

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