Flight Sergeant George Swan Murray FOWLER

Service No: 442340
Born: Bridgewater SA, 21 April 1925
Enlisted in the RAAF: 19 June 1943
Unit: No. 214 Squadron (RAF), RAF Oulton, Norfolk
Died: Air Operations (No. 214 Squadron B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft HB796), off the Kent coast, 9 February 1945, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Swan Murray Fowler and Marie Katrine Fowler, of Bridgewater, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Bridgewater SA
Remembered: Panel 284, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Flying Fortress HB796 of 214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron took off at 0329 hours on 9 February 1945 from RAF Station Oulton for a window (radar countermeasures) operation in the Western Ruhr, Germany. HB 796 when returning from the operation was heard at about 0430 hours approaching at a low altitude from the north north east over the towns of New Romney and Lydd in Kent.

The engines seemed to be running normally and no explosions were heard, but several residents of Lydd district heard the aircraft diving towards the sea and heard a muffled thud. A coast guard watcher at Denge Marsh was of the opinion that the aircraft attempted to land on the foreshore, bounced up and crashed into the sea. American type oxygen bottles carried by the aircraft were found scattered above the high water mark and believed to have not been in the water.

The crew members of HB796 were:

Sergeant William Taylor Banner (2221107) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Lionel John Bennett (42287) (RNZAF) (Wireless Operator Air)
Flight Sergeant Peter George Buckland (1337316) (RAFVR) (Navigator)
Sergeant William Bunyan (1118147) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Robert James Carrott (1816917) (RAF) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Sergeant Ernest Dobson (1590215) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant George Swan Murray Fowler (442340) (Navigator Bomb Aimer – Special Equipment Operator (Radar Countermeasures))
Flight Sergeant Frederick Rossini Olds (427313) (RNZAF) (Air Bomber)
Pilot Officer James Peter Robertson (422318) (RNZAF) (Pilot)
Sergeant Thomas Wilfred Henry Usher (3050447) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)


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, 166/14/354

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