Flying Officer Kenneth Rupert BRUCE

Service No: 422400
Born: Dubbo NSW, 23 September 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 May 1942
Unit: No. 644 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Tarrant Rushton
Died: Air Operations (No. 644 Squadron Halifax aircraft MZ959), near Hamminkeln, Germany, 24 March 1945, Aged 24 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Victor Rupert and Viola Elizabeth Bruce, of Guildford, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Dubbo NSW
Remembered: Panel 282, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 24 March 1945 Halifax MZ959 took off from Woodbridge towing a glider to its landing area near Hamminkeln but failed to return to base. After releasing the glider, the aircraft was hit by antiaircraft fire and the crew bailed out over the east bank of the Rhine River where Flying Officer Bruce was hit by German gunfire as he descended. The other crew members were safely recovered.

The crew members of MZ959 were:

Flying Officer Kenneth Rupert Bruce (422400) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Harris (1892322) (RAFVR)
Warrant Officer Locke (152643) (RAFVR)
Flying Officer Harold McConville (422630) (Pilot) Evaded capture, Discharged from the RAAF: 2 October 1945
Flight Sergeant Munro (966187) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Smith (1860624) (RAFVR)

Flight Sergeant Munro in a later report stated: “all the crew except Bruce turned up within two days. Bruce left the aircraft just before McConville. All members of crew were fired at while coming down. No member of crew has any information concerning Bruce. All members of the crew except Bruce are now safe in UK.” A report in 1949 stated “all efforts to establish the fate of Flying Officer Bruce proved unsuccessful.”


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, 166/6/1025

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