Flight Lieutenant Keith Newman COOLING

Service No: 402641
Born: Marrickville NSW, 29 June 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 18 September 1940
Unit: No. 60 Operational Training Unit (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 60 Operational Training Unit Mosquito aircraft HX972), Bedfordshire, 28 May 1944, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Cambridge City Cemetery, Cambridgeshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Harold Cecil and Bernadette Cooling; of Earlswood, New South Wales, Australia; husband of Jeanne Elaine Marie Cooling, of Bournemouth, Hampshire
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Ryde Ex-Services Club World War II Honour Roll, Ryde NSW

On 28 May 1944, Mosquito HX972 took off detailed to carry out a low level cross country flight. The aircraft crashed near Tempsford, Bedfordshire and both crew members were killed.

The crew members of HX972 were:

Flight Lieutenant Keith Newman Cooling (402641) (Pilot)
Flying Officer Kenneth Alfred Howes (50890) (RAF) (Navigator)

A Court of Inquiry into the accident stated: “the aircraft was on the 9th leg of a low level cross country flight on a course from Braintree (Essex) to St Neots power station approximately 1.25 miles south of the town. Following instructions at the briefing the Pilot had altered course to port about 8 miles from St Neots in order to strike the railway running north to the power station. The aircraft was on a course of 292 degrees and a track of 284 degrees true, and while altering this course a USAAF Mustang was flying low alongside. The two aircraft had been in this relative position for at least three miles when the Mosquito struck the top of an elm tree about 80/90 feet high. Amongst other damage, the starboard tail plane of the Mosquito came off, resulting in the complete loss of control by the Pilot, and the aircraft crashed at Tetworth Hall Cottage. As well as the crew one occupant of the cottage Mr Frederick Oliver Gore was killed and two others – Mrs Miriam Gore and Miss Kathleen Gilbert – were injured. The crash was considered an error of judgement by the Pilot.”


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, 163/26/231
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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