Flight Sergeant Robert Haynes GAWLER

Service No: 430279
Born: Melbourne VIC, 6 December 1924
Enlisted in the RAAF: 1 January 1943
Unit: No. 12 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Wickenby
Died: Air Operations: (No. 12 Squadron Lancaster aircraft NG116), Germany, 23 September 1944, Aged 19 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Oswald and Doris Kathleen Gawler, of Armadale, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Malvern VIC
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lancaster NG116 took off from RAF Wickenby at 182 hours on 23 September 1944 to bomb Neuss, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. A 1947 Missing Research and Enquiry team reported “following interrogations of local residents at Aldekirk, Germany, it was established that the aircraft crashed at 2130 hours on 23 September 1944. It was hit by anti-aircraft fire and exploded in the air. All the crew members were killed and wreckage was strewn over a wide area.

The crew members of NG116 were:

Flying Officer Robert Bamberough (177515) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant James William Cox (1869548) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner)
Sergeant Allen Dodd (1591349) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Robert Haynes Gawler (430279) (Navigator)
Sergeant Frederick John Gooch (653945) (RAF) (Rear Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Colin Eric Mengel (434468) (Wireless Operator Air)
Sergeant Gerald Whyles (1439043) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)


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, 166/15/320

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