Sergeant John Alexander GILLESPIE

Service No: 400705
Born: Horsham VIC, 16 September 1916
Enlisted in the RAAF: 13 October 1940
Unit: No. 27 Operational Training Unit (RAF), RAF Station Lichfield
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 27 Operational Training Unit Wellington aircraft X9821), Lichfield, 18 October 1941, Aged 25 Years
Buried: Fradley (St Stephen’s) Churchyard, Staffordshire
CWGC Additional Information: Son of William Oliphant Gillespie and Elsie Kate Gillespie, of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Roll of Honour: Horsham VIC
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On the 18 October 1941, Wellington X9821 took off from Lichfield for dual night circuits training. During the exercise the weather deteriorated and while banking to port, about a mile north of the airfield, the aircraft flew into the ground at about 0200 hours. Local rescue services were hampered by the wet ground, the aircraft having skidded across several fields adjacent to a lane, aptly known as Sludgey Lane, before bursting into flames. All the crew members were killed.

The crew members of X9821 were:

Sergeant John Alexander Gillespie (400705) (Second Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Lewis Albert Hill (742464) (RAFVR) (Pilot)
Sergeant Cyril Vivian Irish (934541) (RAFVR) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Phillip Walker (552294) (RAF) (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, 163/117/101

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