Flight Sergeant Raey Hilton CHEATLE

Service No: 432755
Born: Bankstown NSW, 11 July 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 30 January 1943
Unit: No. 97 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Coningsby
Died: Air Operations (No. 97 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ND961), Netherlands, 8 February 1945, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Eindhoven (Woensal) General Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Noel Rodney and Mabel Ruth Cheatle, of Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Brother of Flight Sergeant Allen Leonard Cheatle (432305)

At 2105 hours on the night of 7 February 1945 Lancaster ND961took off from Coningsby to bomb the Dortmund-Ems canal at Ladbergen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. It was thought that ND961 collided with No 83 Squadron (RAF) Lancaster aircraft PB181 and crashed. All but one of the crew members on both aircraft were killed.

The crew members of ND961 were:

Flight Sergeant Percival George Cannon (1801327) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Raey Hilton Cheatle (432755) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Gerald Stansfield Johnson DFC & Bar (50002) (RAF) (flying as visual Air Bomber)
Sergeant David Strang Lennie (1824951) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Lieutenant Charles William McGregor (31794V) (SAAF) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Arthur Joseph Norton (154646) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant Jonathon Shield (177165) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Lieutenant Robert Cecil Smalley (J/25766) (RCAF) (Air Bomber)

The crew members of No. 83 Squadron Lancaster PB181 were:

Flight Sergeant Reginald John Harris Jackson (1853612) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant John Dennis Lauther (1578136) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Gilbert Hugh Lonsdale (1487790 (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Lionel Frank Frederick Scull (1602122) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant James William Stazaker (1149349) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Gordon Summers (1851198) (RAFVR)
Flight Sergeant Ernest Stanley Thorn (1801024) (RAFVR)
Flight Lieutenant A P Weber (RAF) (Pilot) Thrown clear by the collision, landed by parachute, injured


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Chorley W R, Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War, Volume 6 Aircraft and Aircrew Losses 1945, Midland Counties Publications UK, 1998
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/7/836

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