Flight Sergeant Robert Ingersole GATES

Service No: 415132
Born: Bridgetown WA, 9 August 1920
Enlisted in the RAAF: 21 July 1941
Unit: No. 467 Squadron, RAF Bottesford, Wiltshire
Died: Air Operations: (No. 467 Squadron Lancaster aircraft ED363), North West Europe, 29 June 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Albert George Gates, and of Caroline Emma Gates, of Boyup Brook, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Boyup Brook WA
Remembered: Panel 192, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 110, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA

Date: 28-29 June 1943
Target: Cologne
Total Force: Dispatched – 608, Attacking – 540
RAAF Force: No. 460 Dispatched – 15, Attacking – 12; No. 466 – 13, 13; No. 467 – 20, 20
Tons of Bombs Dropped: 1,614
Total Aircraft Lost: 12
RAAF Aircraft Lost: No. 467 – 1

Cologne, third largest city of Germany, had almost entirely recovered from the experimental mass raid of May 1942, when four more attacks were made to round off the Ruhr campaign. … The second June raid (28-29 June) fell squarely on the centre of Cologne.

Extract from Herington, J. (John) (406545) Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1954 – Pages 491, 2

Lancaster ED363 took off from RAF Bottesford at 2251 hours on the night of 28/29th June 1943 to bomb Cologne, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it did not return to base. Twenty aircraft from the Squadron took part in the raid, and one ED 363 failed to return. Post war it was established that the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and crashed at 0130 hours at the hamlet of Hatenboer (Limburg), 3 kms south west of Roermond, Holland.

The crew members of ED 363 were:

Sergeant George Reuben Stacey Cayless (1456974) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Warrant Officer Thomas William John Copeland (R129552) (RCAF) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant B H Dolby (1213545) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) PoW
Flight Sergeant Robert Ingersole Gates (415132) (Pilot)
Sergeant Jack Gordon Hole (1337529) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Hugh Harvey Mooney (655855) (RAF) (Navigator)
Sergeant E Pike (1346238) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer) PoW

Sergeant Pike reported that “When I left the aircraft Sergeant Gates was unhurt and preparing to leave the aircraft. I have no further news.” Sergeant Dolby reported “I regret to say I have no further news concerning Gates except that he was still at the controls when I left at about 17,000 feet”.


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, 166/15/68

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