BLAIR Robert Alexander 415498

LEST WE FORGET 

Pilot Officer Robert Alexander Walton BLAIR

Service No: 415498
Born: Perth WA, 18 January 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 November 1941
Unit: No. 77 Squadron (RAF), RAF Full Sutton, Yorkshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 77 Squadron Halifax aircraft NA508), North West Europe, 17 June 1944, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Robert Walton Blair and Vera Marion Blair, of West Leederville, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Perth WA
Remembered: Panel 258, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Halifax NA508 took off from RAF Full Sutton, Yorkshire at 2315 hours on the night of 16/17th June1944, detailed to bomb Sterkrade, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. A 1947 report by a Missing Research & Enquiry team stated “the Communal Police at Neuwer-Amstel reported that the aircraft crashed in flames at Neuwer-Amstel on the night of 16/17 June 1944.  German documents confirmed that only one body was recovered that of Warrant Officer O’Meara.”

The crew members of NA508 were:

Flight Sergeant Gordon Arthur Armstrong (423597) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer Robert Alexander Walton Blair (415498) (Pilot)
Flying Officer John Matthew Date (427807) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Herbert Louis Moore (1399452) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer John Patrick O’Meara (410370) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Lancelot George Pratt (425210) (Observer)
Sergeant Dennis George Tustin (1582404) (RAFVR) (Tail Gunner)

Seven aircraft from the Squadron failed to return from the mission.  Other RAAF members were lost on 17 June 1944 in Halifax MZ715 (Pilot Officer Alan Irvine Crain (415308) (Pilot)) and Halifax NA545 (Pilot Officer Harold William Bird (417330) (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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/5/571