Pilot Officer Ronald Leslie GILES

Service No: 27937
Born: Laura SA, 14 July 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 5 November 1940
Unit: No. 1658 Conversion Unit (RAF), RAF Riccall, Yorkshire
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1658 Conversion Unit Halifax aircraft JD4620, North Sea, 5 June 1944, Aged 28 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Joseph Leslie and Mary Florence Ann Giles, of Kangarilla, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Clarendon SA
Remembered: Panel 258, 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

At 1122 hours on 5 June 1944, Halifax JD462 of 1658 Conversion Unit took off from RAF Station Riccall on an air to sea firing training exercise. The weather at the time was fairly poor, cloud base 1500 feet, visibility about 8 kms deteriorating in occasional showers.

At the time of the accident the aircraft was seen to be flying at a height of 50 feet heading due south over the North Sea in a manner with that required for air to sea firing. The crash was witnessed by a destroyer from 8 kms away. The aircraft seemed to side slip into the sea with smoke trailing behind just prior to the crash. The state of the sea prevented the destroyer recovering the two wheels and a dinghy which was the only identifiable wreckage found. No trace of the crew was found. It was assumed that the crash was JD 462 as no other aircraft was reported missing at the time. The cause of the crash is obscure but the circumstances suggest the failure of an engine.

The crew members of JD462 were:

Sergeant Maurice Reginald Bonser (1580635) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Edmond Anthony Durrant (1335535) (RAFVR) (Bomb Aimer)
Sergeant Herbert Wilfred Fricker (1895662) (RAFVR)
Pilot Officer Robert Leslie Giles (27937) (Pilot)
Sergeant John Thomas Hughes Johnstone (1115129) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Frank William Bates Norris (2221452) (RAFVR) (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Harry William Stow (1263353) (RAFVR)
Sergeant Alexander Thomson (1682291) (RAFVR) (Navigator)


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, 166/15/258

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