Flight Sergeant Keith Charles BIRDSEY

Service No: 400523
Born: Geelong VIC, 15 January 1911
Enlisted in the RAAF: 15 September 1940
Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Air Operations: (No. 11 Squadron Blenheim aircraft V6010), near Cox’s Bazaar, 5 March 1943, Aged 31 Years
Buried: Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Charles Horace and Elizabeth Jessie Birdsey, of Newtown, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Geelong VIC
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 5 March 1943, Blenheim V6010 was returning from a raid onYegyanbin and was flying as No 6 in a formation of six Blenheims at a height of 2,000 feet. At 1230 hours when the aircraft were south east of Cox’s Bazaar, Blenheim V6010 swung to port without warning as the port engine had failed. The Pilot decided to crash land in a paddy field only 100 feet long and made a wheels-up landing. The aircraft skidded and it struck a raised pathway three feet high. Flight Sergeant Birdsey was killed and the other two crew members were slightly injured.

The crew members of V6010 were:

Flight Sergeant Keith Charles Birdsey (400523) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant John Joseph O’Donnell DFC (406258) (O5806) (Pilot) Slightly injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 9 December 1966
Flight Sergeant Charles Henry Ray Williams (404224) (Wireless Air Gunner) Slightly injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 November 1945


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, 166/5/66

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