Flying Officer Kenneth GROSE

Service No: 424901
Born: Ashfield NSW, 16 January 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 9 October 1942
Unit: No 51 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Snaith
Died: Air Operations: (No. 51 Squadron Halifax aircraft MZ916), Germany, 11 September 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
CWGC Additional Information: Son of John and Gladys Emily Grose, of Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia
Roll of Honour: Sydney NSW
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

At 1600 hours on 11 September 1944 Halifax MZ916 took off from Snaith detailed to bomb Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take-off and it failed to return to base. It was established that the aircraft crashed at 1830 hours between the towns of Geldern
and Sevelin both being west of the Rhine and on the north west of the Ruhr approaches. Flying Officer Grose was killed and the remaining six crew members were taken prisoner.

The crew members of MZ916 were:

Flight Sergeant Allan Cooper (1398308) (RAFVR) (Navigator) PoW
Flying Officer Kenneth Grose (424901) (Pilot)
Sergeant David Copperfield Martin (3225017) (RAFVR) (Rear Gunner) PoW
Sergeant James Morgan (1836566) (RAFVR) (Flight Engineer) PoW
Pilot Officer Gerald Henry Norrish (188517) (RAFVR) (Air Bomber) PoW
Flight Sergeant Maxwell John Norton Reynolds (424317) (Wireless Operator Air) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 26 November 1945
Sergeant Edward William Weston (927326) (RAFVR) (Mid Upper Gunner) PoW

Flight Sergeant Reynolds later reported “On the afternoon of 11 September we set out to attack an
oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen. About 3 minutes from the target we were badly hit by flak and the petrol tanks caught fire. Despite this the Captain flew the plane in to bomb and then on his orders the rest of the crew baled out. I was the last to leave and the Captain should have followed me through the escape hatch. But once we were clear I think he tried to lift the burning aircraft over the American lines about 25kms away and so avoid capture. Before he could manage this, the port wing fell off and the plane crashed. He was not wounded when we baled out.”


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, 166/16/431

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