Flying Officer Alfred John BIRTLES

Service No: 412334
Born: Neutral Bay NSW, 23 April 1913
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1941
Unit: No. 78 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Breighton
Died: Air Operations (No. 78 Squadron Halifax aircraft JD414), Germany, 28 August 1943, Aged 30 Years
Buried: Durnbach War Cemetery, Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Bernard and Ethel May Birtles, of Cremorne, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Dulcie Birtles, of Seaforth, New South Wales
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Flight Sergeant Ronald Joseph Birtles (421154)

At 2100 hours on the night of 27 August 1943 Halifax JD414 took off from Breighton detailed to bomb Nuremburg, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. JD414 exploded over the target area following a fire in the main fuel tanks. Seven of the crew were members killed and one taken prisoner.

The crew members of JD414 were:

Flying Officer Alfred John Birtles (412334) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer D Crompton (155340) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner) PoW
Pilot Officer Kenneth Wilson McTernaghan (149702) (RAF) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Samuel Norris (149219) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Raymond Stanley Payne (155906) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Douglas John Purcell (1179990) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer Frederick Richard Sanderson (149461) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Flying Officer Thomas Henry Tabberer (126677) (RAFVR) (Navigator)


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, 166/5/270

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