BROAD Ronald Eric 406288

LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ronald Eric BROAD

Service No: 406288
Born: Perth WA, 5 February 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 7 October 1940
Unit: No. 8 Squadron (RAF), RAF Khormaskar, Aden
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 8 Squadron Blenheim aircraft BA322), Socotra, East, 28 October 1942, Aged 26 Years
Buried: Maala Cemetery, Yemen
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Eric Ashley and Elizabeth Broad; husband of Edith Broad, of Bassendean, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Bassendean WA
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Blenheim aircraft BA322 and BA477 were involved in a formation collision at Socotra near the Gulf of Aden on 28 October 1942. BA322 crashed and all the crew were killed.  Both aircraft took off from Socotra at approximately 0715 hours on 28 October, BA322 took off first followed by BA477. BA322 was the formation leader.

Both aircraft flew out to sea, made a left hand turn, and flew over the landing ground with BA477 gradually catching up the leading aircraft. Both machines performed a shallow dive to approximately 150 feet and started to climb away on their course settling into formation, when the collision took place. The tail unit of the lead aircraft BA 322 was sheered, and the aircraft crashed immediately and the crew were killed instantly.

The other aircraft BA477 turned again attempting to land but landed short of the landing ground, the Pilot managing to extricate himself and drag his passenger clear.  It was considered that BA322 the lead aircraft went into a turn after executing a shallow dive without being assured of the position of the No 2 aircraft.

Those on board BA322 were:

Pilot Officer Maurice Everest Bridgland (407405) (Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Eric Broad (406288) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Ernest Mullard (400657) (Observer)
Captain George Kenneth Younger (151051) (British Army, Royal Artillery) (Supernumerary)

Those on BA 477 were:

Flight Sergeant D H Hall (1263322) (RAFVR) (Pilot) Injured
Major J R S Walkley (LA/124) (Supernumerary) (15th Punjab Regiment) Fatally Injured

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, 163/93/742