Warrant Officer Robert Arthur HART

Service No: 408257
Born: Scottsdale TAS, 31 January 1923
Enlisted in the RAAF: 17 July 1941
Unit: No. 616 Squadron (RAF), RAF Station Culmhead, Somerset
Died: Air Operations (No. 616 Squadron Spitfire aircraft MD133), off the English Coast, 19 June 1944, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Arthur Lewis Hart and Mabel Elizabeth Hart, of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Roll of Honour: Launceston TAS
Remembered: Panel 259, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey UK
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

On 19 June 1944 Spitfire MD133 flown by Warrant Officer Hart took off from Culmhead flying as Chevron Blue 2 with Flying Officer McKenzie (RAF) leading the formation and Pilot Officer Stodhart (RAF) Blue 3 in the formation. The formation took off at 2115 hours on an operational shipping reconnaissance patrol and was returning to base after an uneventful flight, when Blue 2 called Blue 1 to say his engine was cutting. Blue 1 told him to climb and bale out. Blue 2 was then seen to climb slightly, and then go into a rather steep glide, with the nose dropping just below sea level, with the aircraft finally entering the sea almost vertically. The time was 2220 hours and the crash was at sea 30 miles south east of Plymouth. Air Sea Rescue searches could find no trace of the missing aircraft or pilot and in 1949 it was recorded that Warrant Officer Hart had lost his life at sea.


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, 166/17/636

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