Sergeant Ronald Garnet BURTON

Service No: 403856
Born: Millthorpe NSW, 31 October 1919
Enlisted in the RAAF: 4 March 1941
Unit: No. 50 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Swinderby
Died: Air Operations (No. 50 Squadron Manchester aircraft L7471), North Sea, 7 June 1942, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William and Ann Clara Frances Burton, of Millthorpe, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Millthorpe NSW
Remembered: Panel 112, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 2315 hours on the night of 6 June 1942 Manchester L7471 took off from Swinderby detailed to bomb Emden, Germany. A fix was given to the aircraft at 0140 hours on 7 June but thereafter nothing was heard from the aircraft and it failed to return to base.

The crew members of L7471 were:

Pilot Officer Frederick William Robert Allen (400362) (Navigator) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 14 February 1946
Flying Officer Argyle Donald Beatty (403104) (Pilot) PoW, Died: 10 September 1942
Sergeant Ronald Gibson Buchanan (404646) (First Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 23 October 1945
Sergeant Ronald Garnet Burton (403856) (Second Pilot)
Sergeant Ronald Frank Davies (400342) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 7 November 1945
Sergeant Alan Frederick Scanlan (402615) (Second Wireless Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 8 January 1946
Sergeant Arthur Campbell Tebbett (402472) (Air Gunner) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 27 November 1945

Sergeant Buchanan later reported “The starboard engine gave trouble immediately after leaving the target. It took some time to feather the engine and we were down very low when this was accomplished. The aircraft would not maintain height on one engine and we finally crashed in the sea about 30/40 miles from Emden. The Second Pilot did not have time to get out and he went down with the plane. Flying Officer Beatty had a fractured skull, the Navigator a fractured hip and the others scratches and bruises. We were captured an hour later in the dinghy by a German seaplane.”

Sergeant Scanlan stated “The starboard engine cut out at about 1,000 feet and it refused to feather. The aircraft dropped to sea level and then climbed to 300 feet but the strain was too great on the port engine and we ditched. We crashed into the sea nose first. I am pretty sure we were not hit by enemy aircraft.”


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, 163/94/230

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