Pilot Officer Kenneth Roy COWLING

Service No: 419605
Born: Bendigo VIC, 11 November 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 September 1942
Unit: No. 1 Operational Training Unit
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Operational Training Unit Oxford aircraft AS618), Deal Island Tasmania, 23 September 1943, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Springvale War Cemetery, Melbourne VIC
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Roy and Muriel Cowling, of Bendigo
Roll of Honour: Bendigo VIC
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 0935 hours on 23 September 1943, Oxford AS618 crashed at Deal Island, Bass Strait, during a non-operational exercise NR2. The aircraft was seen to be flying between 1,000-1,500 feet on a south west course when approaching Deal Island lighthouse. The aircraft turned slightly to port, appeared to wallow, straightened up and then dived at a steep angle into a valley 700 yards east of the lighthouse. The aircraft disintegrated in the crash and did not burn but all the crew were killed.
It was considered that the aircraft caught a very severe turbulence and down draft on the leeward side of the hill. The island is noted for turbulence because of its isolation and ruggedness.

The crew members of AS618 were:

Pilot Officer Kenneth Roy Cowling (419605) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Joseph Docherty (411878) (Pilot)
Sergeant Norman Stirling Graham (418504) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Peter Albion Hendrickson (419937) (Wireless Air Gunner)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veterans’ Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/8/237; A9845, 239

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