Pilot Officer Reginald Elwyn BYRNE

Service No: 432112
Born: Undercliffe NSW, 21 April 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 December 1942
Unit: No. 84 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 84 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft HF570), Northamptonshire, 5 September 1944, Aged 23 Years
Buried: Oxford (Botley) Cemetery, Oxfordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Patrick Bertrant Byrne and Jessie Heather Macleay Byrne, of Centennial Park, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 119, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 5 September 1944, Wellington HF570 crashed in Draybrook Road, Desborough, and three of the crew members were killed and three injured. A Court of Inquiry into the accident found that “the aircraft had entered the circuit at base at 3,000 feet, the Pilot having called to that effect on the radio. No further messages were received and the aircraft was subsequently found to have crashed just outside the outer circuit on the down-wind leg. The Captain gave instructions on entering the circuit for the Nacelle tanks to be turned on. This was done incorrectly it was believed by the Bomb Aimer with the result that the engines failed and the aircraft crashed.”

The crew members of HF570 were:

Sergeant William John Barnett (2235180) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Edward Brisbourne (3050808) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Reginald Elwyn Byrne (432112) (Pilot)
Sergeant R McDowell (1672529) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) Injured
Sergeant J McNish (1566711) (RAFVR) (Navigator) Injured
Flight Sergeant Terence Francis O’Neill (434801) (Wireless Air Gunner) Injured, Discharged from the RAAF: 5 April 1946


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, 166/6/698

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