Flying Officer Colin Robert COWAN

Service No: 416042
Born: Littlehampton SA, 9 October 1914
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 March 1941
Unit: No. 14 Squadron (RAF), Landing Ground 116, Egypt
Died: Air Operations (No. 14 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z9656), Egypt, 9 June 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leslie Thompson Cowan and Alice Maud Cowan, of Balhannah, South Australia. B.Eng. (Adelaide).
Roll of Honour: Balhannah SA
Remembered: Panel 120, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Blenheim Z9656 crashed when attempting to land at 0255 hours on the night of 9 June 1942. At the time the night was dark and the pilot was unable to see the flare path because of mist. The aircraft was returning from a bombing raid on Crete after a five hours flight at night. When the aircraft passed over the drome at 1000 feet the flare path was covered with mist. The chance light was switched on and the pilot attempted to make a landing, but misjudged his height owing to fatigue from flying on instruments for five hours, and the aircraft hit the ground and burst into flames.

The crew members of Z9656 were:

Flying Officer D R W Brooks (42190) (RAF) (Pilot) Injured
Flying Officer Colin Robert Cowan (416042) (Observer)
Pilot Officer William Edward Hickman (416060) (Wireless Air Gunner) Injured: Discharged from the RAAF: 10 August 1943


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 Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/26/216


Napier, Michael Winged Crusaders: the exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-1945, Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley UK, 2012

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