Pilot Officer John Franklin CURTIS

Service No: 412231
Born: Coolamon NSW, 21 December 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 22 June 1941
Unit: No. 1661 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Station Winthorpe
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1661 Conversion Unit Lancaster aircraft R5492), Devon, 3 September 1943, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Bath (Haycombe) Cemetery, Somerset
CWGC Additional Information: Son of James Herbert and Rose Mary Curtis; husband of Josephine Victoria Curtis, of Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Randwick NSW
Remembered: Panel 121, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 3 September 1943, Lancaster R5492 took off from RAF Winthorpe for a night navigation exercise and a night fighter affiliation exercise. During the exercise R5492 dived into the ground at 2238 hours, less than a mile south west of the Exeter airfield. All the crew of eight was killed. The pilot of another aircraft saw R5492 caught in a cone of searchlights and diving followed by fire on the ground after the crash.

The crew members of R5492 were:

Sergeant Dennis Sydney Audley (1576642) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Franklin Curtis (412231) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Stanley Alfred Gawler DFM (1295418) (RAFVR) (Staff Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer Samuel Keith Lowry (400559) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Leslie John Milton (1583502) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Thomas David Phillips (18297) (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Laurence Alexander Taylor (414967) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Arthur Young (2206984) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)


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, 166/8/213
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line

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