LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Ian Harry CHRISTISON

Service No: 402490
Born: Broken Hill NSW, 13 June 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 16 September 1940
Unit: No. 280 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 280 Squadron Anson aircraft AX649), Kent, 26 June 1942, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Maidstone Cemetery, Kent
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Henry James Walker Christison and Lilian Eva Christison, of Mosman, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Mosman NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0030 on 26 June 1942 hours Anson AX649 crashed at Stockbury, Kent, and all the crew members were killed. A Court of Inquiry into the accident stated: “the aircraft glided down the beam of a searchlight from about 2,000 feet. The searchlight was switched off the aircraft which continued to descend. The Pilot was heard to open the throttles and seconds later a heavy crash was heard. The aircraft was taking part in a Canopy exercise with the RAF Detling aerodrome searchlights at Kent. It had been airborne about one hour approaching the aerodrome from various directions and various heights up to 6,000 feet, with the navigation and landing lights off, and then took evasive action when picked up. It is possible that the Pilot was concentrating on the evasive action and failed to watch his altimeter. The searchlight glare may have been a contributory factor but that is not new under “Canopy”. A secondary cause was that the Pilot failed to realize how low he was getting, aggravated by searchlight glare.”

The crew members of AX649 were:

Flight Sergeant Arthur Bell (635868) (RAF) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Roy Brooks (1253868) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Ian Harry Christison (402490) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Amery John Norwick (R/86853) (RCAF) (Observer)

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 Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/96/143