LEST WE FORGET

Flight Sergeant Norman Athol COOPER

Service No: 421978
Born: Tingha NSW, 22 July 1918
Enlisted in the RAAF: 24 April 1942
Unit: No. 59 Squadron (RAF)
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 59 Squadron Liberator aircraft FL990), Ireland, 19 June 1944, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Tamlaght Finlagan Church of Ireland, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Alfred Ernest and Rhoda May Cooper, of Tingha, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Tingha NSW
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 19 June 1944 Liberator FL990 took off from RAF Ballykelly for an anti-submarine patrol and set course from Inishtrahull. About five minutes after take-off the aircraft hit high ground at Inishowen Head off Melville, County Donegal and burst into flames. This high ground was covered with cloud base down to 900 feet, although the cloud base at the aerodrome was about 1500 feet. The aircraft was seen to climb up to about this height after take-off. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of FL990 were:

Flight Sergeant John Anderson (1550924) (RAFVR) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Kenneth John Nielson Apitz (422370) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Cook (1384560) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Mechanic/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Norman Athol Cooper (421978) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant John Haines (931471) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Flying Officer James Alfred Parsons (128381) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant James Steer (564898) (RAF) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Lieutenant Rowland Paine Wade (88398) (RAFVR) (Pilot)

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, 166/8/511

Bibliography:

Jay, Alwyn, Endurance; Coastal Command Liberator Operations 1941-5, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD, 4650, 1996